8-3-22 Alert

Good Morning, New Mexico Activists:

There are some interesting issues to be discussed in interim committee meetings coming up this week and next. This is a good way to learn more about the issues and to hear what legislators are hearing about how hazardous materials are handled in our state, about hydrogen hub development, a state public bank, and the status of the Energy Transition Act (ETA), among other topics.

If you have the time, we encourage you to participate and offer public comment on these issues. But unfortunately, the meetings aren’t yet accessible via Zoom, so you can’t offer public comment unless you go to the meetings in Clovis, Gallup, or Socorro. Interim committee secretaries have told us they’re working on making Zoom available for these meetings away from the Roundhouse, but it will take some time.

We’ve also asked about submitting written public comment, but that is also up in the air. You can try emailing your comments (as far in advance as possible) to the committee secretaries – see names and addresses below for each committee. And as usual, you can watch the meetings passively, without participation, via webcast at this link. Continue reading for more information and to learn about our Zoominar on the Health Security Act on Tues., Sept. 13.

Interim Committee Meetings

  1. The Radioactive & Hazardous Materials Committee will meet on Fri., Aug. 5, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Clovis Civic Center, Enchantment Ballroom 1, 801 Schepps Blvd., in Clovis. Agenda topics include:
  • WIPP Operations, Plutonium Storage and Pending Permit Modifications
  • Permit Status of Holtec’s Interim Storage Facility
  • Implementation of the Produced Water Act.

The agenda says public comment will be conducted after each presentation, following committee members questions and comments. You’ll find the whole agenda, including times for each discussion, at this link. If you’re curious, you’ll find a list of committee members at this link. You can try emailing your written comments to Tom Kricka at Tom.Kricka@nmlegis.gov.

Links to handouts for the meeting follow: a report from the NM Environment Dept. on Overview of Regulation of Radioactive & Hazardous Materials; an Overview of the Energy, Minerals & Natural Resources Dept.’s Regulation of Radioactive & Hazardous Materials; a report from the Office of Natural Resources Trustee, Restoring Resources Injured by the Release of Radioactive & Hazardous Materials; and a report from the State Land Office regarding Radioactive & Hazardous Materials. These are all separate reports with lots of interesting information!

2. The Economic Development & Policy Committee will meet on Mon-Tues., Aug. 8-9, at the Student Services & Technology Center at UNM Gallup, 705 Gurley Ave., Gallup. Agenda items include:

  • Update on Public Banking (Mon.)
  • Update on the Energy Transition Act (Mon.)
  • Hydrogen as Economic Development: Benefits & Challenges (Tues.)

Public comment is scheduled at 4:15 p.m. on Monday and 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday. You’ll find the agenda, including times for each topic, at this link. If you want to know who’s on the committee, you’ll find a list of committee members at this link. And you can try emailing your comments to Peter Kovnat at Peter.Kovnat@nmlegis.gov.

3. The Science, Technology & Telecommunications Committee will meet on Mon., Aug. 8, at the NM Institute of Mining & Technology in Socorro. Agenda items include:

  • Update on Broadband and Other Programs
  • Status Update from the Office of Broadband Access & Expansion
  • Building a Statewide Middle-Mile Fiber Network
  • Water Data Act Status Update.

Public comments is scheduled at 4:30 p.m. You’ll find the full agenda at this link.  If you want to know who’s on the committee you’ll find a list of committee members at this link. And you can try emailing your comments to Mark Edwards at Mark.Edwards@nmlegis.gov.

Zoominar on Health Security Act, Thurs., Sept. 13, 6-7:30 p.m.

Our next Zoominar will focus on the status of the Health Security Act and what we as activists can do to help this essential legislation continue to move forward. Our panelists will be Mary Feldblum, Exec. Director of New Mexicans for Health Security, who for over 30 years has been leading the effort to achieve health security in NM. Joining Mary will be two of her key legislative allies, Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino and Representative Day Hochman-Vigil, who will be working to pass legislation to advance the HSA in 2023.  Tens of thousands of New Mexicans are uninsured or underinsured. The Health Security Act will bring affordable, comprehensive health care to all New Mexicans. Register to attend at this link.

We hope you’re enjoying your summer, but let’s remind ourselves that many people across our state are still suffering from the aftereffects of the spring wildfires and serious flooding in those burn-scar areas. One way to help is to donate to All Together NM at this link, or the Red Cross at this link. If you have other suggestions for helping, please send a note to retakeresponse@gmail.com and let us know.

In Hope & Solidarity,

Roxanne and Paul

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