Environment & Climate Change

Environmental group questions safety of federal drinking water contamination levels

BY: - August 4, 2022

The Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit analyzing water quality issues, collected research from Europe showing that maximum U.S. federal levels for nitrate can still lead to cancers.  The federal nitrate level set by the Environmental Protection Agency is outdated, said scientist Tasha Stoiber with the Environmental Working Group. It can lead to health risks such […]

Churchrock mine uranium

U.S. Interior Department calls for states to submit mine cleanup proposals

BY: - August 3, 2022

The Interior Department asked states Wednesday to apply for $725 million made available this year to clean up abandoned mine sites as part of the 2021 infrastructure bill. The department officially opened a notice of funding opportunity, which gives states the avenue to request federal grants to close mine shafts, prevent the release of methane […]

U.S. Senate in turnaround backs aid for veterans exposed to burn pits

BY: and - August 3, 2022

WASHINGTON —  The U.S. Senate on Tuesday passed bipartisan legislation that would provide health care and benefits to millions of veterans exposed to toxic substances while deployed overseas, after many Republicans switched their votes and decided to once again back the legislation. The shift came after days of protest and vigils outside the U.S. Capitol, […]

Southern NM ranchers looking for help with Gila rehab and property damage

BY: - August 2, 2022

On a ride through the eastern Gila, laughter dwindled to silence as southern New Mexico ranchers saw Black Fire destruction on their land for the first time. Shocked and saddened, they took in blackened trees, flooded areas and cows wandering beyond burnt fences. The second-largest blaze recorded in the state’s history consumed much of the […]

U.S. House passes major wildfire and drought package

BY: - August 2, 2022

The U.S. House approved, 218-199, on Friday a massive package of bills to address the growing threat of wildfire and drought in the West. The measure includes 49 standalone bills from both Democrats and Republicans. It includes provisions to make permanent an increase in wildland firefighter pay, lift a cap on the federal cost share […]

NM disaster declaration extended, but feds haven’t said they’ll continue covering the whole bill

BY: - August 1, 2022

The disaster declaration for ongoing destruction from the largest wildfire in New Mexico history has been extended to Sept. 6, but the federal government hasn’t said it will continue paying in full for damage caused by the northern fire that the U.S. Forest Service started. The presidential declaration was set to end this week on […]

A propane tank with red letters that read, "NO SMOKING, FLAMMABLE" sits in front of wildfire smoke from the Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon Fire in northern New Mexico.

Officials lift fire restrictions on state lands, though local bans remain in some counties, tribal nations, national parks

BY: - August 1, 2022

Citing recent rains and decreased fire danger, state forestry officials on Monday lifted restrictions that have been in place since April as wildfires ignited around the state. The April restrictions on state lands prohibited smoking, fireworks, campfires and open fires on all lands not controlled by local, federal and tribal governments to reduce the chance […]

The Kayenta solar farms on the Navajo Nation in 2019. (Photo courtesy of the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority / Navajo Nation)

Climate spending in new reconciliation deal a ‘turning point’ for the U.S., supporters say

BY: - August 1, 2022

Environmental advocates largely praised the climate provisions in Senate Democrats’ massive taxes, health care and energy bill released Wednesday night, saying even with provisions to help the fossil fuel industry, the measure represents a historic step toward addressing the climate crisis. The 725-page bill — made public mere hours after U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin III […]

Final steps to remove derogatory names from federal lands underway

BY: - August 1, 2022

Sixty-six of the 67 sites on federal land in Arizona with a name that includes a slur for Native American women are slated to be renamed in September. With the public comment period now over, the U.S. Department of Interior is in the final stages of renaming more than 660 geographic features with the word […]

Manchin and U.S. Senate Democrats strike a deal on major health, climate, tax package

BY: and - July 28, 2022

WASHINGTON — West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer struck an agreement Wednesday for a Democrats-only reconciliation package that would allow negotiations on some Medicare prescription drugs, end corporate tax loopholes and address climate change as well as invest in energy projects. President Joe Biden in a statement on […]

After burning over 325,000 acres of Gila wilderness, the Black Fire is mostly out

BY: - July 27, 2022

Southern New Mexico is finally getting some relief after months of firefighters beating back the second-largest blaze in the state. The U.S. Forest Service must further survey the area before calling the fire 100% contained, said spokesperson Punky Moore. Monsoon season was instrumental in containing the fire, and it hasn’t consumed any more acreage, Moore […]

Gap in full federal wildfire compensation is imminent

BY: - July 26, 2022

The federal government is set to stop paying 100% of the expenses related to the largest wildfire in New Mexico’s recorded history in just over a week.  Investigators found in late May that the blame lies squarely with the United States Forest Service. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham asked President Joe Biden on Friday to ensure, […]