Urgent: Produced Water Hearings Begin Tuesday; Your Voice Needed NOW

Produced water is a very high priority for NM Oil & Gas Assoc. We need to show up in force. Keep reading for background info, speaking points, contact info, hearing dates & location in ABQ, Santa Fe, Farmington, Carlsbad & Las Cruces.

Raise Your Voice & Share This Via Social Media & Email to Friends

It will take only a few minutes to raise your voice and to get your friends to do so. So much is at stake.

Why Is Produced Water For Irrigation, Grazing & Agriculture a Bad Idea?

From Sierra Club Fact Sheet: According to data reported to FracFocus and other current literature, there are 536 different fracking chemicals used in New Mexico that could be found in produced water — from hydrochloric acid to ethylene glycol (antifreeze) – in addition to the subsurface constituents.

Unfortunately, we lack key toxicity data and only have standard analytical methods for less than 25% of known constituents — and those don’t always work. Produced water in NM is 3-4 times saltier than seawater, and testing technologies do not always perform accurately in such high salt content.

Additionally, trade-secret chemicals and well-maintenance chemicals are not included in FracFocus disclosures, which means produced water could contain harmful chemicals we don’t know about.

Policymakers can’t develop effective standards for wastewater if they don’t know what is in it, what water-quality targets should be, or what tools are needed for chemical detection.

From Retake: New Mexico Oil & Gas Association (NMOGA) wants to use produced water to grow greens for your next salad and to irrigate grazing land so you can pour milk from those cows on your kids’ cereal.

What You Can Do

  • Email the New Mexico Environment and Natural Resources Department and express your concerns about the use of produced water anywhere besides to reuse in future fracking (email address and background info and speaking points provided below).
  • Attend the hearings slated to begin Tuesday, Oct 15 (schedule provided below).
  • Share this post on social media with an urgent plea for your FB and Twitter friends to raise their voices. Include a phrase indicating that the post includes contact info, hearing schedules, and speaking points.
  • Call and email friends and urge them to send comments TODAY to the email provided below. They do not have to spend hours writing this, 3-4 sentences with facts below will suffice and the speaking points provide guidance.
  • If you know anyone with a professional background in water, agriculture, dairy, biology, or other fields related to this issue, reach out to them and ask that they provide their professional commentary. This is important.

The Public Input Process

Persons interested in providing input during the Public Input Session must sign up at the meeting entrance. Speaking opportunities will be limited to two minutes per person and speakers will be added to the queue based on the time entered on the sign-up sheets. Additional opportunities to provide public input include: 1) submitting written input at the public meeting (forms will be provided), and 2) sending email to pw.environment@state.nm.us.

We urgently need everyone to flood EMNRD with email comments and to absolutely jam the hearing rooms.

After NMED concludes all five scheduled public meetings, it will develop a summary of the input received up to that point and share that summary with the public on NMED’s Produced Water website (https://www.env.nm.gov/new-mexico-produced-water/).

Technical feedback from the public will help inform NMED’s coordination with New Mexico State University about research priorities needed to fill science and technology gaps through the Produced Water Research Consortium.

Retake has learned that NMOGA will be pressing for lax regulation and regulation that will allow use of produced water in agriculture and irrigation. The potential to destroy NM agriculture and dairy industries is entirely possible.

Speaking Points

  • Oil and gas wastewater has no place in our food system. New Mexico’s wastewater reuse regulations must prohibit the use of drilling wastewater on cropland and pasture, as well as livestock watering and aquifer recharging. 
  • Wastewater may include hazardous chemicals used in drilling, including known/suspected carcinogens, and chemicals that harm developmental and reproductive health.
  • Wastewater also contains naturally-occurring substances like heavy metals and radioactive materials that are linked to endocrine disruption, cancer, and damage to the respiratory and immune systems.
  • New Mexico cannot regulate what it does not know. Through trade secret loopholes, companies can hide the names of chemicals used in drilling fluids, making it impossible for regulators to address all potential hazards.
  • Treating wastewater for agricultural reuse may generate more toxic waste. The state suggests injecting effluent (liquid byproduct of treatment) into underground storage wells, and sending sludge to solid waste facilities – hardly a model of “recycling.”
  • Public resources should not be exploited to help an industry deal with its enormous wastewater problem. Instead, New Mexico should invest in a swift transition to 100 percent renewable energy sources, including tapping into its enormous potential for solar power.

Hearing Schedule

ALBUQUERQUE: Tuesday, Oct. 15, 6pm-8:30pm, National Hispanic Cultural Center Bank of America Theatre, 1701 4th St. SW, Albuquerque

SANTA FE: Wednesday, Oct 30, 6pm-8:30pm, St. Francis Auditorium, 107 West Palace Ave., Santa Fe

CARLSBAD: Thursday, Nov. 14, 6pm-8:30pm, Pecos River Village Conference Center, Carousel House 711 Muscatel Ave., Carlsbad

FARMINGTON: Tuesday, Nov. 19, 6pm-8:30pm, San Juan College Little Theatre, 4601 College Blvd., Farmington

LAS CRUCES: Monday, November 25, 6pm-8:30pm, New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum, Ventana Room, 4100 Dripping Springs Rd. Las Cruces

The agenda for each meeting is as follows:

  • 5:00 pm Doors open
  • 6-6:45 pm Presentation by NMED, EMNRD and OSE
  • 6:45-7:15 pm Question-and-answer session
  • 7:15-7:30 pm Break
  • 7:30-8:30 pm Public input session 

A Spanish interpreter will be available at the meetings. Persons who need non-Spanish language services (e.g., assistance from an interpreter) or persons with disabilities who need services to participate in this public process should contact:

Michaelene Kyrala
PO Box 5469
Santa Fe, NM 87502
Telephone: (505) 827-2855
Email: pw.environment@state.nm.us

TDD or TTY users please access the number via the New Mexico Relay Network, 1-800-659- 1779 (voice); TTY users: 1-800-659-8331.

In solidarity, Paul & Roxanne

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2 replies

  1. Keep up the good work!


  1. October 24, 2019 – Progressive Voter Alliance

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