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Copper Rules: Better Managed Environment and a Better Economy
New Mexico’s Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) adopted the Copper Rules recommended by the New Mexico Environment Department. The new rules are officially in effect. The new rules represent an important step forward and much-needed improvement over the previous ad-hoc, inconsistent permitting process to determine the necessary measures to protect ground water quality.
- Sec. Ryan Flynn: To protect our environment, we must not play politics
- New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission Approves The Most Environmentally Protective Rules
- New Mexico Water Regulators Approve New Copper Rules
- Reclamation A Key Component For Restoring The Environment | News Release (04/23/2013)
Copper Rule Affirmed by New Mexico Supreme Court
The Copper Rule provides ‘significant groundwater protection’ at open pit copper mines, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled in March 2018 of the 2013 regulations, according to an Albuquerque Journal article.
The Court ruled that the regulations, known as the “Copper Rule,” were valid under the state’s Water Quality Act (WQA). The commission adopted the regulations in 2013.”
– Administrative Office of the Courts
Link: Administrative Office Of the Courts: Supreme Court Affirms “Copper Rule” Regulations
Link: New Mexico Supreme Court Ruling
Link: Albuquerque Journal: NM high court affirms ‘copper rule’ for mining
Link: Silver City Daily Press: State Supreme Court Upholds Copper Rule
Link: Legal Newsline: New Mexico Supreme Court upholds state’s Copper Rule after challenge from environmentalists, AG’s office
Frequently Asked Question:
How do the Copper Rules benefit New
Mexico and the environment?
The Copper Rules impose rigorous ground water protection requirements on the copper mining industry. In addition to protecting ground water, the Rules provide clear, consistent expectations of the industry. Ground water will be better protected, operators will be better equipped to plan and invest, and the State of New Mexico will benefit from the expansion of this critical industry.
The Rules impose scientifically based requirements for protecting ground water beneath mining operations. Impacts to drinking water outside the mines are not and will not be permitted.
The Copper Rules establish consistent, clear, and reliable methods to protect the quality of ground water in the vicinity of copper mining operations today and for years after operations cease, ultimately better protecting New Mexico’s water resources.
For more frequently asked questions, click here.
Meet the individuals who make the copper mining industry of New Mexico.
- New Mexico Mining Association
- New Mexico Economic Development Department
- New Mexico Oil & Gas Association
- Silver City – Grant County Chamber of Commerce
- Grant County Commission
- Gila Economic Development Alliance
- New Mexico Gas Company Employees – Silver City
- New Mexico Cattle Growers Association
- Mayor Edward Encinas, Town of Hurley
- Mayor Charles L. Kelly, City of Bayard
- Mayor James Marshall, Town of Silver City
- Dr. Joseph Shepard, Western New Mexico University
- Dr. Dan Lopez, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
- Dr. Beverlee McClure, Association of Commerce and Industry
- Michael J. Trujillo, President, AmBank