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Clear water can be dangerous too

By September 18, 2015September 29th, 2022Water Quality & Land Restoration
flickr user Mor Animas River

Photo credit: Flickr user More

Abandoned mines have plagued New Mexico communities for decades. In light of the Gold King Mine spill, join us in calling out Gov. Martinez for her systematic assault on our environmental safeguards and urge her to prioritize clean-up.>>
People pay attention when a river turns orange. But water doesn’t need to be orange to be unsafe – and we New Mexicans have known this for decades.
As an organizer in western New Mexico, I have witnessed firsthand the impacts left-behind toxic mine waste has on my community. The Gold King Mine, the mine the EPA was attempting to clean up when they accidentally released heavy metal-contaminated waste water into the Animas River that feeds New Mexico’s San Juan River, is just like the 15,000 abandoned mines here in our state. Many of these mines continue to leak dangerous liquids into the ground and the underlying aquifers that 9 out of 10 New Mexicans depend on for their drinking water.
This should be a keystone moment to force your decision-makers to put strong protections back in place and prioritize clean-up of legacy pollution – rather than a chance to gain political points by attacking the EPA. Gov. Martinez has continually deregulated industry in New Mexico while in office – an action that can lead to disasters like the Animas River spill. Speak up with us now to show Gov. Martinez that New Mexicans want real actions to protect your environment and family rather than political blame games.
Tell Gov. Martinez to prioritize  your health and provide communities relief from pollution they’ve been living with for decades.>>
When the Animas River spill happened, the shocked reactions – while appropriate – reveal the fact that New Mexico’s decades-long toxic waste legacy isn’t well known and hasn’t been addressed by our leaders like Gov. Martinez.
At the behest of industries like mining and oil and gas, Gov. Martinez has used her administrative authority to weaken environmental safeguards at the expense of your air, water and land. Not only that – she’s allowed the mining industry to write their own rules that govern protection of water under copper mines. It’s increasingly likely that other disasters will occur in New Mexico if we continue to allow the industry to write their own regulations.
Now she’s railing against the EPA for causing the Gold King Mine spill – a mess created by a mining company that was allowed to walk away. This is a critical time for you to tell Gov. Martinez to prioritize people like you over profits and address the very real toxic legacy that plagues our communities and families. Demand that Gov. Martinez put strong environmental protections back in place to protect all New Mexicans like you from exposure to pollution.>>
Talia Boyd, CVNMEF Western New Mexico Organizer