Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Environment Department official resigns after bureau move

Staci Matlock | The New Mexican

"A top official with the state Environment Department resigned Tuesday morning, a day after the bureau overseeing Los Alamos National Laboratory's compliance with hazardous-waste regulations was moved from his division.

It was one more shake-up in a department that's seen more than a few in the last six months."...

..."The decision to move the bureau was made by Environment Department Secretary F. David Martin and Deputy Secretary Raj Solomon. They did not respond to questions regarding Davis' departure.

People familiar with the situation, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of repercussions, said the decision to yank the bureau from Davis' division was the final straw in a string of disagreements he had with the new administration. They believe the change was prompted by a recent notice of violation that Davis' division was pursuing against LANL for failing to meet some terms of the consent decree. A LANL spokesman confirmed there was a notice of violation, with fines proposed, but the spokesman referred questions to the Environment Department.

Gov. Susana Martinez made it clear in the first week of her administration that she intended to do away with any policies she deemed unfriendly to business. The Environment Department rapidly became a focus of her attention. The administration set out to undo or overturn new rules and regulations, from green-building codes to greenhouse-gas emissions, which officials said were detrimental to industry." More>>>>

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