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The EPA Isn’t Happy and Neither are We

By August 13, 2013September 29th, 2022Public Lands, Water & Wildlife, Climate & Energy

Nine-thousand New Mexicans submitted public comment to the U.S. Forest Service about their Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the proposed Roca Honda uranium mine. Ninety-eight percent of those comments were in opposition to the mine and the DEIS. CVNM supporters, like you, submitted 835 of those comments. Thank you! Addyourname
Since then, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has also weighed in that they were not happy with the DEIS. The EPA says the DEIS contains “inadequate information” and recommends that the Forest Service address the concerns (below) and provide the public with more time for comment on a revised DEIS.
The EPA’s concerns include the following:

  • The proposed water quality monitoring and mitigation measures are not sufficient and do not include any plan of action in the event that contamination occurs. The EPA is concerned about the effect of groundwater contamination on public drinking supplies.
  • The significant adverse impacts to groundwater quantity are inadequately portrayed. Roca Honda will require millions of gallons of water a day to be pumped from the underground aquifer on which our communities rely for groundwater.
  • There is no information about how aquifers will interact with waste rock after mining is completed.

CVNM, along with other organizations working to raise awareness of ALL impacts of new mining, is working to ensure that the Forest Service incorporates the EPA’s critical feedback. We’re stomping ground across the state to gather petition signatures to send a message to the Forest Service: Do it right!
You can help us meet our goal and urge the Forest Service to fully include information about all potential impacts the mine may have on our communities by signing our petition online.
Here is the text of the petition:

Petition to Forest Service for Comprehensive Information of Mine Impacts on Our Water

As New Mexicans, we know that ensuring our water is safe to drink and use is important for the wellbeing of our families, our farms and ranches, and our economy. When new uses for our water supplies are being proposed – like the Roca Honda mine – we want to be fully informed of how our groundwater will be impacted. That’s why we support efforts to raise awareness of ALL impacts of new mining, including those that threaten the safety of our water.
Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reviewed a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) authored by the Forest Service that listed potential impacts of the Roca Honda mine. The EPA found that the DEIS had “inadequate information,” and recommended that the Forest Service revise it to address concerns about impacts to our groundwater.
We urge the Forest Service to revise the DEIS so that it fully includes information about all potential impacts the mine may have on our communities. We also request that the Forest Service help inform the public on how the mine could impact water supplies by allowing for additional public comment and review of the revised DEIS.
Sign our petition.
Molly, Program Manager