Jan 27, 2022 –
Happy New Year!
As many of you know, the 2022 New Mexico legislative session kicked off last week. We are following a handful of bills during this 30-day session that could have a positive environmental impact for New Mexico. Please see the bill descriptions and links below.
Clean Future Act, HB 6 — Sets statewide greenhouse gas emissions goals — emissions of greenhouse gases shall not exceed 50% of 2005 levels; and by 2050, total statewide greenhouse gas emissions shall achieve at least net-zero emissions, provided that total statewide direct emissions of greenhouse gases shall not exceed 10% of 2005 levels in 2050 or any subsequent year. See bill at: HB6
Community Energy Efficiency Development Block Grant Act, HB 37 — Creates a grant program to implement energy efficiency measures in low-income households, mandates utility reporting of customer disconnections, arrears and households without service, requires utilities to submit reports on energy affordability and access to electric, water and wastewater service and authorizes utility rate preferences for low-income customers. See bill at: HB37
Environmental Rights/Green Amendment, HJR 2 — Proposes amending the New Mexico constitution by adding a new section that provides New Mexico residents with environmental rights, including the right to a clean and healthy environment. For more information, see: HJR2
Clean Fuel Standard, SB 14 — Lowers carbon intensity of transportation fuels through fuel neutral market mechanism. Will require transportation fuels and the process of producing those fuels to be cleaned up, 20% cleaner by 2030 and 30% cleaner by 2040. See bill at: SB14
Environmental Rights/Green Amendment, SJR 2 — Proposes amending the New Mexico constitution by adding a new section that provides New Mexico residents with environmental rights, including the right to a clean and healthy environment. See resolution at: SJR2
Radioactive and Hazardous Materials Act Amendment, SB 54 — Amends the Radioactive and Hazardous Materials Act by prohibiting the storage or disposal of spent fuel and high-level waste, amends the definition of disposal facility and amends and duties and composition of the State Radioactive Waste Consultation Task Force. See bill at: SB4
Uranium Clean up and Mining Reclamation Fund, SB 89 — Calls for the NM Environment Dept. to develop a strategic plan for the cleanup of uranium mine and mill sites throughout the state, coordinate the state’s efforts to clean up and reclaim former uranium mine and mill sites and undertake uranium mine and mill site reclamation projects. Creates the “uranium mining reclamation revolving fund” to receive grants, donations and money from the federal government or other state agencies and other sources for conducting uranium mine and mill reclamation activities. See bill at: SB89
State Transit Fund, SB 99 — Creates a state transit fund, allows appropriations, donations and interest from fund to provide up to 50% of matching funds for public transit agencies. See bill at: SB99
Also, critically important to the work of addressing environmental health impacts on New Mexicans is fully funding agencies that work on these issues. The FY23 Executive Budget recommendation increases the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department budget by 16.4% including important work related to climate, oil and gas compliance and modernizing New Mexico’s electric grid. For more information, see EMNRD
The FY23 Executive Budget recommendation for the New Mexico Environment Department prioritizes the department’s efforts to combat climate change by establishing a first-of-its-kind Climate Change Bureau, addressing ozone pollution from neighboring states, and protecting the public against dangerous chemicals including PFAS. This budget amounts to a 48.7% increase in state funding for NMED. For more information, see: NMED.