GRIP is dedicated to promoting community health by protecting our environment and natural resources in southwestern New Mexico.
This past year, GRIP was reminded 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.
Sally Smith, GRIP President and Director of Responsible Mining, served on the Advisory Committee for the development of new state water quality rules for the copper mining industry. Sally and others attended more than 20 meetings over 8 months to develop a draft rule intended to clearly define requirements for preventing ground water and surface water pollution and ensuring regulatory compliance rather than determining all such requirements on a case-by-case basis.
Although a reasonable staff version of the rule was developed by stakeholders, FMI used its political sway with the Martinez administration to propose a pro-industry rule that would allow water pollution at copper mines rather than prevent it, contrary to the purpose of the state’s Water Quality Act. The proposed rule will go before the Water Quality Control Commission in April.
GRIP and its legal counsel, NM Environmental Law Center, have successfully defended the Water Quality Act against industry rollback attempts in the past, most recently in the Tyrone mine appeal case decided in 2009. GRIP and its partners will defend safeguards for our water supplies again next year as we argue that the copper rule can’t be approved, since it is inconsistent with state water quality laws.
We are up against the world’s largest publicly traded copper company and all of their financial and legal resources. We can’t continue to defend our community’s water quality, environment, and quality of life without financial support from people like you.
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!