The Sandoval County Commission voted to create a Citizens Group to draft an “Aquifer Source Water Protection and Oil & Gas Ordinance” for the County. ES-CA presented its position at the meeting supporting the creation of the group and specifically calling for the ordinance to be presented directly to the County Commission. However, the Commission voted to have the draft ordinance presented to the Planning and Zoning Commission for its review before going to the County Commission. ES-CA’s position paper will be posted on our website (es-ca.org) by April 4th.
The fact that a “Citizens Working Group” was even created is a victory for the citizens of Sandoval County and shows that our voices can be heard. However, this is only the beginning. The Federal and State governments have been lessening their requirements on the regulation of the oil & gas industry and we must insure that the ordinance provides all the protections necessary for the health and safety of all residents as well as protecting our water.
ES-CA will continue to monitor this issue and work with the Citizens Group and our elected and appointed officials to help craft the most comprehensive ordinance possible. ES-CA calls on all residents to keep informed on this issue as it is one of the most important issues for all of us.
Concerning the future use of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) area to the north, it is ES-CA’s understanding that there will be no new Resource Management Plan issued in the near future. This means that BLM is free to lease any of this land under the current Plan, which does allow for mineral extraction, including sand and gravel mining.
ES-CA, along with Las Placitas Association and other organizations, is maintaining close contact with BLM and is continuing to express our opposition to any further mining on this land. Again, we ask that all citizens keep a close watch on this issue, which can also have negative effects on our water and our health and safety.
Our next meeting will be on Monday, April 2, beginning at 6pm, and will be at our new location – the Placitas Community Library on Rt. 165. All residents are welcome to attend.