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.

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.

Spaceport lawsuit settled before trial start

By: - July 20, 2023

The New Mexico Spaceport Authority settled a lawsuit by a former employee who alleged discrimination and retaliation, just before a trial was scheduled to begin July 31, according to court documents. The settlement agreement ends a three-year-long civil lawsuit against the agency. The terms of the settlement will be released on the state’s Sunshine Portal […]

‘People have been dying ever since’: Anger mixes with hope for NM Downwinders

By: - July 19, 2023

Lit by the glow of hundreds of luminarias at dusk, a group gathers in Robinson Park, Las Cruces to hear the list of more than 800 names read aloud, punctuated by rumbles of distant thunder. This is the legacy of the atomic age, the list of people who’ve died of cancer around the Tularosa Basin […]

Lawsuit claims Holtec made “false” statements on proposed New Mexico nuclear storage site

By: - July 13, 2023

The Florida company aiming to put an interim storage site for high-level nuclear waste in New Mexico is facing allegations of retaliating against a former executive, according to a New Jersey lawsuit. Kevin O’Rourke claims in a civil lawsuit filed in June that he was fired as a vice president and chief financial officer for […]

Sewage spill fine still tied up in Texas courts

By: - July 13, 2023

A fight over a $1.2 million fine from New Mexico to a Texas water utility’s 2021 sewage spill is stalled in Texas federal district court, attorneys told Water Quality Control Commissioners on Tuesday. The 14-person regulatory board under the New Mexico Environment Department administers permits for pollution in the state and handles any appeals for […]

A man leans over a stone walkway to look at water flowing from a diversion.

What’s a river? Supreme Court WOTUS ruling will be costly for New Mexico, experts warn

By: - July 12, 2023

State environment officials said most of New Mexico’s rivers, streams and arroyos will need additional protections by the state from pollution after the United States Supreme Court reshaped water law overnight with a ruling in June. Potential fixes could cost the state millions of dollars and take more than a year to put in place, […]

It’s hot and the late 2023 monsoon season is drying up New Mexico

By: - July 11, 2023

Triple-digit temperatures are part of a heatwave scorching the southern part of the state and turning up the heat across the rest of New Mexico. But there’s little relief so far from the monsoons – those patterns of afternoon and evening seasonal summer rains that douse the state and often provide crucial moisture. Across the […]

Groundwater pools into the Rio Grande riverbed, offering refuge to black-necked stilts, waterfowl, even a rogue peacock.

Judge OKs states’ plan to end Rio Grande dispute

By: - July 11, 2023

Last week, a federal judge gave his stamp of approval on a proposed settlement to end a lawsuit between Texas and New Mexico over Rio Grande water. The move potentially ends a decade of litigation in the nation’s highest court with barely a splash. U.S. 8th Circuit Judge Michael Melloy – overseeing the case as […]

Feds shoot down mining company’s ask to loosen cleanup standards at toxic uranium mine site

By: - July 6, 2023

In early June, federal regulators rejected a mining company’s proposal to loosen current cleanup standards at a former uranium mining operation in Western New Mexico.  Beginning in 1958, The Homestake Mining Company operated a mine in Cibola County, just five miles outside the town of Milan. The consequences have carried 65 years into the future. […]

Extreme heat is killing more people crossing the border

By: - July 4, 2023

New Mexico sat on the bleeding edge of the heat dome that caused soaring temperatures in Mexico and Texas last week, and pushed temperatures into the triple-digits for much of the southern portion of the state.  Heat is the deadliest natural disaster event – killing an average 700 people in the United States each year […]

Hospital in Otero County quietly signs merger agreement with Catholic Health group

By: - June 29, 2023

This story has been updated with the responses from Christus Health and Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center. Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center quietly signed a merger agreement with a Catholic health group based in Irving, Texas Thursday.  This comes on the same day that civil rights and reproductive nonprofits urged leadership to slow down the […]

Water issues pose tough questions for lawmakers moving forward

By: - June 29, 2023

Too much water. Too little water. Overpumping. Contamination. Desalination. The litany of New Mexico’s water troubles are familiar and complicated. Lawmakers, state agencies and others are working to play catch-up with solutions and data, while also trying to make decisions for future management. This was thrown into stark relief at the interim Legislative Finance Committee […]

‘It’s not a done deal:’ Lawmakers voice discontent on Rio Grande SCOTUS presentation

By: - June 28, 2023

The Rio Grande might be roaring this year, but the U.S. Supreme Court lawsuit between Texas and New Mexico over its water is quiet. The last big moment in the case was in February, when the federal judge heard a prospective plan by Texas, New Mexico and Colorado to settle the case. The federal government […]