Monday, March 14, 2011

Environmental, construction rules top targets of state task force

Staci Matlock | The New Mexican

"A task force established by Gov. Susana Martinez to review the impact of state regulations on small businesses has focused narrowly on environmental and construction rules, with an eye toward some major overhauls.

A "mid-point report" sent by the task force Feb. 18 to the governor's chief of staff, Keith Gardner, noted the group's review would focus on rules and regulations in the state Environment, Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources, and Game and Fish departments. The task force will "determine the best approach to rescind or revise the troublesome rules/regulations," according to the report.

The task force, which has met twice, noted that environment and construction are two areas "in which industries have been significantly and economically affected by rules and regulations." The task force is to make a full, formal report to Martinez by April 1.

So far, no one interviewed from the task force or asked to comment on the group's work has publicly produced anything concrete about how specific environmental and construction rules impact small businesses. "...

..."The task force is focusing on the revised pit rule for oil and gas waste, now 2 years old; a 5-year-old enforcement and compliance rule for oil and gas wells; and new building codes, among other things.:...

..."The report notes "the task force does not wish to present a laundry list of problems to the Governor but develop solutions. The goal is to provide the Governor and/or agencies cover when repealing or revising a rule or regulation thus avoiding litigation if possible."

The pit rule, first approved in 2003 and amended in 2008 and 2009, requires oil and gas producers to contain the waste products from drilling in a lined pit or a closed loop system from which the waste is hauled to a licensed facility. The updated rule in 2008 came after more than a year of public hearings, analysis of well samples near drilling operations and a report by a task force of representatives from state agencies, environmental groups, and the oil and gas industry. Former Gov. Bill Richardson ordered the rule amended after oil prices fell and the industry asked for help.

The oil and gas industry has maintained the rule has chased out well drillers and is too expensive to meet, statements not borne out by the level of drilling and production that has occurred in the last year around the state." More>>>>

Related posts:

Clearly New Mexico Feb 24 Are You Sitting Down? Here Are The Recommendations From The Gov’s “Small Business-Friendly” Task Force

Public Records Request Shows Gov’s “Small Business-Friendly Task Force” Met In Secret; Is Packed With Lobbyists for Oil and Gas, Mining and Dairy

1 comment:

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