Category Archives: Environment

The Line: Animas River Spill

Credit: Rita Daniels/KUNM

August 21, 2015 – Local, state and federal officials continue to test and monitor the Animas River after a recent toxic spill of wastewater from an abandoned mine in Colorado. The water is open again for recreation and irrigation but many questions remain about the potential long-term impacts of the spill.

Host Gene Grant and this week’s Line opinion panelists discuss the response from the federal government and new legislation that aims to address cleanup costs related to abandoned mines across the country.

Diane Denish, former New Mexico lieutenant governor
Tom Garrity, the Garrity Group PR
Sophie Martin, attorney and editor of
Harry Van Buren, professor at UNM Anderson School of Management

Should Fracking Continue in New Mexico?

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Communities across the country are debating whether hydraulic fracturing, which is commonly known as fracking, should be allowed.

The state of New York created a formal ban on fracking last month banned fracking after a 7 year moratorium on fracking. Some cities and counties have sought their own bans on   fracking. In 2013, Mora county in northern New Mexico became the first county in the nation to ban this type of drilling, but the ban was reversed earlier this year.

Other states have recently moved to protect hydraulic fracturing from local bans. Oklahoma and Texas now has laws to prevent counties, cities and towns from passing ordinances and local bans on fracking.

NMIF producer Sarah Gustavus sat down with Anita Laran and John Olivas, a former Mora county commissioner, to talk about their concerns about potential fracking in the county. She also spoke with Victoria Gutierrez and Sarah White from Diné CARE to hear what they see right now in communities across the Navajo Nation


Also this week, NMIF correspondent Gwyneth Doland moderated a discussion about the safety and economic opportunity of fracking with Wally Drangmeister from the New Mexico Oil & Gas Association and Erik Schlenker-Goodrich from the Western Environmental Law Center.

Web Extra: Other Related Environmental Concerns

Additional Resources:

Earlier this year, reporter Laura Paskus joined us in studio to talk about her reporting on new oil and gas development in northwestern New Mexico for the Drilling Deep series on KUNM.

In June, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a draft statement on water quality and fracking. The Executive Summary is here.