Danielle Prokop

Danielle Prokop

Danielle Prokop covers the environment and local government in Southern New Mexico for Source NM. Her coverage has delved into climate crisis on the Rio Grande, water litigation and health impacts from pollution. She is based in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

NM joins cascade of states suing PFAS manufacturers

By: - June 2, 2023

The state of New Mexico is suing 21 manufacturers of ‘forever chemicals,’ also known as PFAS, for deceptive trade practices. The lawsuit was filed Thursday in district court in Santa Fe, a site that has PFAS contamination at the City of Santa Fe Fire Department. The court filing also named Lea County Airport in Hobbs, […]

Water flows off of a concrete diversion.

NM environmental agency bracing for water law changes

By: - June 2, 2023

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling changed water law overnight last week – and the impacts will ripple through New Mexico over coming months. New Mexico’s complicated water landscape, coupled with the fact it’s one of three states that does not have a state agency regulate pollution in surface water, leaves it uniquely vulnerable, officials for […]

Virgin Galactic completes test flight

By: - May 26, 2023

SPACEPORT AMERICA – A small group of onlookers pulled in alongside a barbed wire fence, with the spaceport’s unique dome just over the rise, a plane and spacecraft in the middle distance. Then, they waited. It’s out of the way, just past mile marker 23 on Upham Road, situated in creosote and sagebrush scrublands, broken […]

One of the entrances to the New Mexico Legislature is shown bathed in shadow, with light from the afternoon sun spilling out from above the Roundhouse.

NM fiscal experts outline plans to track record spending by state agencies

By: - May 25, 2023

The “once-in-history” money approved by the 2023 New Mexico Legislature is ready to spend, and the Legislative Finance Committee is tracking the agencies and projects while building priorities for the next year before lawmakers return in January. Oil and gas revenues boosted the budget by more than $3.6 billion – even as New Mexico is […]

Spaceport governance meeting pushed back

By: - May 24, 2023

The New Mexico Spaceport Authority governing board postponed a meeting scheduled for Wednesday, according to its online meeting announcement. No agenda was posted for the meeting. Alicia Keyes, New Mexico Economic Development Department Secretary and board chair for the Spaceport Authority, said the delay stemmed from the Virgin Galactic flight planned for May 25. The […]

Still in Mexico: New concerns in the wake of asylum restrictions

By: - May 23, 2023

CIUDAD JUÁREZ – The sun beats down on the houses of Pan De Vida, a shelter for migrants in Rancho Anapra, a barrio of Ciudad Juárez. In between white houses trimmed with blue, kids whizz by on bikes, shouts ringing out over the dust settling across the courtyard. Dogs recline in the shade, tongues lolling. […]

A sign stands outside the entrance to Spaceport America, prior to the launch of Virgin Galactics SpaceShipTwo Unity, July 10, 2021 in Truth Or Consequences, New Mexico.

Virgin Galactic plans a flight for May, says more to follow from Spaceport

By: - May 18, 2023

Virgin Galactic announced Wednesday a flight window opens next week for its crewed spaceflight from Spaceport America outside Truth or Consequences. The five-person crew includes a Las Cruces woman, Jamila Gilbert. According to the announcement on the company’s website, the crew will begin training next week, before the Thursday, May 25 flight window. On a […]

‘It’s good to have water,’ The Rio Grande flows again

By: - May 16, 2023

CABALLO LAKE STATE PARK, N.M. – The Rio Grande runs again below Caballo Reservoir. The flush of snowmelt this year means more water for longer in southern New Mexico.  Unlike the portion of river above Elephant Butte Reservoir, the Rio Grande is not a wild river through southern New Mexico and far west Texas. Instead, […]

‘Eerily quiet’ night as Title 42 ends

By: - May 12, 2023

GATE 42, CIUDAD JUÁREZ – The wind scatters fine silt from the edge of the Rio Grande, whipping at jackets, and tarps as a few hundred people at the base of the border barrier wait.  Loops of concertina wire curl upon each other, stacked on the embankment alongside the Rio Grande. Members of the Texas […]

Thousands surrender to Border Patrol as Title 42 ends

By: - May 11, 2023

EL PASO – Under the shadow of Gate 42, Elizabeth Ramirez repeated “I didn’t want it to be like this,” as she crossed over the Rio Grande, low and sluggish over algae.  She was one of a group of two dozen people surrendering to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol on Wednesday. The people crossing would […]

Swifts fly to and from a bridge near the Sunland Park pools to roost for the night in nests they have built out of sediment from around the river.

Lawsuit: State allowance on oil and gas violates New Mexico Constitution

By: - May 10, 2023

Plaintiffs in a civil lawsuit filed Wednesday are seeking a seismic shift for New Mexicans’ rights to a “healthful and beautiful environment.” In a complaint spanning 100 pages, environmental groups, youth activists and individuals from the Pueblos, the Permian Basin and Navajo Nation sued the state of New Mexico, top officials and rulemaking bodies on […]

NM leaders decry federal license for nuclear storage facility

By: - May 10, 2023

The New Mexico Congressional delegation, local officials and environmental groups vowed to fight a high-level nuclear waste storage facility slated to be built in southern New Mexico. On Tuesday, the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued a license allowing nuclear equipment company Holtec International to build and operate a storage facility in a rural site […]