Thursday, February 11, 2010

‘Bad actor’ legislation (HB 276) dies on House floor

The New Mexico Independent

By Trip Jennings 2/10/10 9:10 PM

coal-power-plant-pic1"House lawmakers on Wednesday narrowly rejected giving power to state environmental regulators to consider a company’s past crimes and regulatory punishments in other states when deciding whether to revoke or deny an air quality permit.

The bill died on the House floor Lawmakers on a 32-33 vote after a lengthy, sometimes testy debate.

Supporters cast the bill in terms of protecting the poorest New Mexicans from pollution. Opponents countered that it changed the regulatory rules mid-stream and would send a anti-business message to firms that want to relocate here.

The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe, would have empowered the New Mexico Environment Department and Bernalillo County to consider “bad actor” provisions when weighing decisions related to a permit.

New Mexico has “five or six bad actors” that continue to emit air pollution and contamination that could lead to death despite repeated sanctions, Egolf told his colleagues.

“If we can’t come together to help some of the poorest people in New Mexico get out from under clouds of pollution … then I don’t know what to say,“ Egolf said. “There are companies operating in New Mexico that shouldn’t be. We’ve got to stop it.”

But several lawmakers opposed the bill, citing, among other things, its retroactivity." More>>>>

2010 Regular Session

HB 276


Sponsor: Brian F. Egolf

Current Location: Died

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