Many Eastern Sandoval Citizens Association (ES-CA) members testified in opposition to the County Oil and Gas Ordinance at the last County Commission meeting. The Commission had proposed two different ordinances. One ordinance was the original “Stoddard” draft which made oil and gas drilling a permissive use everywhere in the unincorporated parts of the County and an amended version that made drilling a conditional use in Population centers of the County, includes Placitas.
Both versions of the ordinance were defeated by 4-1 votes. The defeat of these ordinances does not mean that the issue is over. An oil and gas company can still apply to drill in Sandoval County under a special use ordinance. ES-CA believes that the County needs a strong ordinance in place that will provide sufficient protection for residents and that lays out a clear set of requirements for companies to follow. ES-CA asks that the County Commission work with the residents and the Native American Nations of the County to develop a strong and clear ordinance that accomplishes the above.
Concerning the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Buffalo Tract, ESCA and Las Placitas Association are scheduling a meeting with the BLM office in Santa Fe to discuss the status of the Resource Management Plan. The Plan is supposed to be release this year, but it appears as if it may be delayed.
ES-CA also recently met with Bernalillo Mayor Jack Torres to discuss regional issues. The Mayor advised that the Town continued to oppose the oil and gas ordinance (see above) and continues to oppose any new mining and the Buffalo Tract. The Mayor has been meeting regularly with NM DOT on the Rt. 550 construction project. To date there have been no issues and the bridge construction is proceeding according to plan.
Our next meeting will be on Monday, January 15, beginning at the new time of 6pm, and will be at a new location – the Placitas Community Library on Rt. 165. All residents are welcome to attend.