GRIP is dedicated to promoting community health by protecting our environment and natural resources in southwestern New Mexico.
Recently, GRIP was reminded again just how important it is to have a watch-dog organization defending community interests against mining giant Freeport-McMoRan (FMI), operator of the Chino, Cobre and Tyrone mines here in Grant County, New Mexico.
In September 2013, the New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission approved new water quality rules for copper mines that are bad news for us here in Grant County. These new regulations are in violation of the state’s Water Quality Act and will allow copper mines to contaminate our scarce groundwater rather than prevent pollution as state law requires, giving international mining giant Freeport-McMoRan a free ride at the expense of the public’s groundwater quality and environmental health.
Gila Resources Information Project (GRIP) and Turner Ranch Properties, L.P., represented by New Mexico Environmental Law Center (NMELC), and Amigos Bravos represented by High Desert Energy + Environment Law Partners have filed an appeal to the New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC)’s new water quality rules for copper mines. The groups are challenging the adopted copper mining rules because they expressly allow water pollution rather than prevent it.
Proposed by the New Mexico Environment Department and the global copper mining company, Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold, the rules mark the first time in 36 years that the WQCC has set aside its mandate to protect the quality of the state's scarce groundwater resources.
GRIP and its legal counsel, NM Environmental Law Center, have successfully defended the Water Quality Act against industry rollback attempts in the past, such as in the Tyrone mine appeal case decided in 2009 and GRIP's Chino closure permit appeal that forced FMI to treat mine effluent rather than dilute it to meet water quality standards when the Chino mine closes down.
As communities throughout the state discuss ways to deal with future water needs against the specter of long-term drought, it is irresponsible to allow mining companies to pollute thousands of acre-feet of groundwater that could be used in the future by municipalities, industry or agriculture.
Please consider joining with us to defend our community’s water quality, environment, and quality of life. We are up against the world’s largest publicly traded copper company and all of their financial and legal resources and we need your financial support.
Your contribution TODAY will help us do the following:
Your gift, large or small, is a significant investment in our quality of life, environmental health, and in our community’s future.
We appreciate your support!