Staff reports, Cibola County Beacon

For the 10th year in a row, Conservation Voters New Mexico (CVNM) and its allies successfully defeated every anti-conservation measure introduced during the 2014 New Mexico Legislative session, according to a recent CVNM press release.

The group successfully defeated Senate Bill 283 and House Bill 296 Economic Development Utility Rates. These companion bills would have allowed utility companies to negotiate discounted rates for large companies, and pass those costs onto all other rate-payers without Public Regulation Committee oversight.

CVNM brought forward House Bill 343, a piece of proactive legislation that would have established a fund to conduct a baseline community health study of the Grants Mineral Belt, which includes large portions of western New Mexico.

Legacy waste sites from uranium mining threaten scarce resources and pose severe risks to public health. However, there is no process in place to study the impacts that this environmental degradation has on the quality of community health.

While HB 343 failed in the House Health, Government, and Indian Affairs Committee, the resulting conversation among legislators and stakeholders is shining a light on an issue that continues to affect New Mexicans.

CVNM advocated for or against more than 30 bills for the good of New Mexico’s air, water, land, and communities, according to the organization.

Visit www.CVNM.org for more information.