WildEarth Guardians

A Force for Nature

Select Page

Current work in wildlife, rivers, public lands, and climate

Press Releases

Billboards Rally Public to Speak Out Against Plans to Dump Fracking Waste Into New Mexico’s Waters

October 30, 2019
Jeremy Nichols, (303) 437-7663, jnichols@wildearthguardians.org
In This Release
Climate + Energy  
#JustTransition, #KeepItInTheGround
Santa Fe, NM – In advance of a public meeting tonight in Santa Fe on dumping oil and gas industry waste into New Mexico’s waters, WildEarth Guardians has posted billboards urging New Mexicans to tell Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham to put the brakes on her plans.

“Dumping frack water into streams and drinking waters, and onto crops would devastate New Mexico’s health and environment,” said Jeremy Nichols, Climate and Energy Program Director for WildEarth Guardians.  “We’re delivering the message that the Governor needs to reconsider dumping waste that is too toxic to treat into the state’s irreplaceable waters.”

Posted in the I-25/I-40 junction area in Albuquerque, the billboards highlight growing public worries over the risks of dumping frackwater onto crops. The Rocky Mountain Farmers Union recently voiced concerns over the threats to New Mexico’s chile.

They also highlight concerns over Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s support of dumping oil and gas industry waste into the state’s streams and drinking water supplies.

The billboards urge the public to take action via an online action page directed toward the New Mexico Environment Department and Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham.  Click here to access the online action page >>

“The public needs to know that their water is at risk,” said Nichols.  “And the Governor needs to know how people feel about that.”

Public ire is mounting over the New Mexico Environment Department’s plans to adopt rules that would allow the oil and gas industry to dump toxic fracking waste “outside the oil field.”

The Environment Department is engaging in a series of public meetings on their proposal. Last week, they held their first meeting in Albuquerque, during which the Department faced extensive public opposition.

Today, the Department is holding their second meeting in Santa Fe. A coalition is planning a major turnout to respond.

Oil and gas extraction produces massive amounts of wastewater.  This waste is produced during hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and is pumped from the ground in the process of producing oil and gas.

Often referred to as “produced water,” this waste is too toxic to treat.  It contains radioactive materials, salts, and heavy metals.  The industry has to either discard this wastewater by injecting it deep underground through disposal wells or reuse the water for fracking.

Facing rising costs, the oil and gas industry has lobbied state officials to roll-back environmental and health safeguards and make it easier to dump their wastewater. In 2019, the New Mexico Legislature passed the “Produced Water Act,” which directed the Environment Department to consider adopting new regulations governing the use of oil and gas wastewater.

WildEarth Guardians and others have called on Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham to pause, or at least slow down, plans to dump frackwater.

Instead, the Governor is being urged to help New Mexico transition from reliance on oil and gas and develop effective water conservation strategies.

Below are the billboard images posted today. The billboards are posted south of the I-25/I-40 junction facing north:

Frack water billboard 1

Frack water billboard 2

Frack water billboard 3