Oil and gas operations in New Mexico emit 337,500 tons of smog-forming volatile organic compounds and more than 1.1 million metric tons of methane pollution, a powerful greenhouse gas.
Thankfully, the New Mexico Environment Department has proposed a strong oil and gas air pollution rule to protect our air and climate and the health of New Mexico’s families.
Gov. Lujan Grisham and Secretary Jim Kenney deserve credit for the hard work that went into responding to the concerns of people across the state and developing a smart, commonsense proposal.
While the Environment Department has significantly strengthened their draft proposal, a few targeted improvements are critical to protecting communities and meeting Gov. Lujan Grisham’s goal of nation-leading rules to cut methane and air pollution.
The Environmental Improvement Board will hold a hearing on the proposed rule this fall. Make your voice heard now.
Thank you Gov. Lujan Grisham and Environment Secretary Jim Kenney for putting forward a smart, commonsense proposal to protect our air and climate from oil and gas methane and air pollution. We appreciate the hard work that went into responding to the concerns of people across the state.
While the Environment Department has put forward a strong proposal, more work needs to be done to protect communities and address major pollution sources to meet Gov. Lujan Grisham’s goal of nation-leading rules to cut pollution.
Here are three key improvements the Environment Department should make to protect communities and address major sources of pollution:
● Protect those living closest to development by requiring more frequent inspections to find and fix leaks.
● Ensure strong requirements for operators to control pollution during the completion of an oil or gas well or when they redevelop an existing well.
● Strengthen requirements to cut pollution from pneumatic controllers that are used in oil and gas production. The devices are the second largest source of oil and gas methane emissions in New Mexico. NMED should require companies to inspect pneumatics for leaks and accelerate the timeline to retrofit equipment with zero-bleed or zero-emission pneumatic controllers.
As a New Mexican, I am proud to see our state is stepping up to this important challenge. Please adopt a strong final rule that protects communities and addresses major sources of air and climate pollution.