Allegations of Environmental Neglect: A Constitutional Lawsuit Filed in New Mexico Seeking to Address Air Pollution

Petroleum Industry Stakeholders and Businesses Urge Inclusion in Constitutional Pollution Lawsuit

A constitutional lawsuit alleging that the state of New Mexico is not doing enough to address air pollution is set for its first major hearing on Friday. Several groups are petitioning the court to intervene in the case, including Indigenous communities and environmentalists who claim that the legislature, governor, and state agencies are violating the pollution control clause of the New Mexico Constitution.

The lawsuit, filed in May, involves various groups who argue that the state is failing to protect its natural resources for the benefit of its people. The plaintiffs will argue against motions from the Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico and the New Mexico Chamber of Commerce, who have stated that the lawsuit would impact their business interests. However, Gail Evans, lead council for the plaintiffs clarified that this lawsuit is not directed at private oil and gas operators but only states can violate constitutional rights.

Despite this, there is a separate effort by environmentalists to seek voter approval to modify the state constitution for citizens to have a “green amendment” guaranteeing a clean and healthy environment. The hearing for this lawsuit will take place on Friday March 29th at 2pm MST and will be accessible via Google Meet.

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