For Legislative on Senate Bill 149 Updates go to

The Fight for the Brine Water

in Sandoval County, NM

Hostile take over by IMH JP Morgan Chase

By Elaine Cimino

The showdown in the NM courts is expected this week after an Arizona Court of Appeals decision that remanded 20+ cases back to the Superior Court that will begin again at the 2016 timeline, and revert the ownership of the Brine wells. This will decide the fate of environmental impacts to the Rio Grande watershed and ecosystem from this wells and projects. The case then comes to New Mexico courts to consider ‘Fraud on Court’ committed by IMH and JP Morgan Chase and the many other offenses. [i]

In 2009, David Maniatis, Aperion RECORP, missed two mortgage payments on property in Texas during the recession mortgage finance crash. He and 147 other investors in multiple states have been fighting for the money and properties since. The properties that Aperion RECORP (RECORP NM) owned in NM, also went into receivership in 2013, which was later found to be illegal. JP Morgan Chase and IMH Financial saw an opportunity for venture capital investment as a hostile takeover of the RECORP NM assets.  According to K1 and other tax filings, IMH ‘cleaned out’ the assets of these corporations and of the 147 investors in 2015 and 2016, some of those who could, fought back.[ii]

The assets in NM included the investment with Sandoval County of $6M for the drilling of the raw brine wells that were controlled by (Aperion RECORP / RECORP Investments of NM at the time of the receivership.  A settlement agreement[iii]between the County and RECORP NM included 4,000 Acre-Feet- a-Year (AFY) of brine for industrial use and land. The wells were grandfathered in 2009, prior to changes in the pumping of raw brine from deep aquifers over 2,500 ft deep.  At the time these decisions were made without the current modeling knowledge or geo-hydrology scientific study.[iv] 10 years later we need another study to determine impacts on the correlations of deep aquifers to the groundwater/surface water/ drinking water aquifers for the Albuquerque Basin in the Middle Rio Grande Basin. During the Condemnation Case (2009-2013)[v]there was no insertion of environmental concerns into this case nor at any time within the last 10 years.  

NM OSE (Office of the State Engineer) and NMED (New Mexico Environment Department) Issued permits and temporary permissions (sometimes known to citizens’ groups as ‘Zombie Permits’) since that started in 2005, which allowed for IMH to neglect the wells while they were gathering more investors through capital calls and then cleaning out those accounts.

The brine water is highly corrosive and some of the worst brine water in the state. The water is high in VOCs, lead, arsenic, boron, turbidy, total dissolved solids (TDS) and Radium 226 & 228. All of these contaminants cause severe health impacts.[vi]It was discovered through an IPRA request that NMED allowed IMH to NOTreport radium levels in the corrective action report and to use the corrosive brine water in the construction of the new pads, berms and impoundments and use for dust control on the roads in Sandoval County.[vii]

Several leaks and spills occurred between 2013 and 2017 because IMH ignored warnings sent to them on the maintenance of those wells by Aperion RECORP NM in 2013 2014 shortly after the demand to turn over assets was made by the initial receivers, MCA and Southwest Lending, in which IMH had oversight.  The wells exploded in 2016 from misaligned fittings that leaked from corrosion and the intense 150-degree temperature and pressure, when it is estimated that 11-acre-feet over a 4-year period ran down two arroyos, only to be scoured in storm events onto tribal lands and into the Rio Puerco. [viii]

During the repair of the wells in 2017 -2018, Gary Lee (engineer) and Larry Bain (CEO) of IMH won a court ordered 600-page injunction filed against the owners and investors of RECORP NM.  IMH then made an application for discharge permit to NMED despite the misrepresentation the ownership of the wells, where they used home addresses and never contacted the partnerships interests in the wells.[ix]RECORP NM in the meantime had a couple of wins in the Arizona Courts and in NM won an injunction on IMH in 2018 and again in May 2019. 

Despite courts orders IMH still proceeded with the NMED discharge permit #1682. During the application process, IMH exchanged application pages, and there were no summary pages, as well as, a number of file omissions and public notice issues on the permit, which we questioned. The standards on regulating contaminants were streamlined and deregulated during the period 2017-2019, during the draft permit application.

In the past 4 months IMH Larry Bain and engineer Gary Lee have been in contact with NMED and OSE. Judge Davis specifically ordered that no individual party was to contact the OSE. IMH wanted to test for lithium, which changed the intent of use of wells, from a desalination plant for domestic water. 

From an IPRA, email communications show that Gary Lee was in close contact to the County Planning Director Mike Springfield and Commissioner David Heil not to include the brine wells in the County oil and gas ordinance. During this period the EMNRD, OCD, Aztec Office, confirmed that raw brine would be considered natural occurring waters and could be used “as is” in the hydraulic multi-directional fracturing process (fracking), “All they need is a pump.” They do not need to process or polish this water to use it for fracking,” according to the State agency. 

The discharge permit #1682 public comment period closed July 15, 2019. All this information was given to the Office of the Attorney General, Office of the State Auditor, the NMED and OSE, during the comment period within the past month. 

According to sources, last week the OSE issued the permit for pumping the wells because of a phone call from the Office of the Governor, when Gary Lee circumvented the injunction to ask the Governor’s office to make the request. The Governor was informed of the IMH and JPMorgan potential fraud issues because she had two weeks earlier ordered two agencies to investigate the allegations. The agencies were just beginning to assess the information when the call was made. The permit was issued without public notice and a public hearing. [x]

After the public comment period NMED issued a statement that they were taking everything into consideration that came to light during the comment period and they would make a determination on the discharge permit in the next couple weeks.  

Two days later the Arizona Courts of Appeals remanded the case back to the Superior Courts, where it reverted back lands to the original owners, RECORP NM. The cases in NM are “now going forward in New Mexico” according to RECORP NM Vice President Chuck Warner.   

So, what happens after the ownership is decided? It’s back to drawing board for permitting, test pumping the wells for aquifer mining. 

We are witnessing the creation of the first privatized water company in NM, which will be owned by Arizona investors for the most part. Currently, there is not cleanup nor a closure plan for the wells and whatever project they decide. There are no covers on the impoundment to mitigate wind-blown radioactive dust and exposures to radioactive salts, and all this being done with no public hearing. 


Drilling Boreholes

New Mexico taxpayers most likely will experience impacts; from the lack of closure enforcement that has no fiscal assurance, water scarcity from over-pumping and health issues from impacts from these water projects. The RECORP partners and IMH have been adamantly denying the use of the water for fracking, but now they have their foot in the door. All this was done in violation of court orders, misrepresentations to state agencies in violation of the law, with no public comment on the correct facts presented to the public and with no public hearings. The OSE allowed a permit to sit for 10 years on derelict wells with no beneficial use. 

Where does the buck stop? Business as usual, it looks like the bucks go out of state like other mineral resources in the state and taxpayers left without water or our health, unless these types of speculations are stopped.  

The video was released prior to the public comment period which ended on July 15th, 2019. NMED is reconsidering the permit application at this time[custom-facebook-feed]

[i]Appeals Court Decision

[ii]KI Filings

[iii]Settlement agreement County and RECORP

[iv]Shoemaker Report JAISC Deep Brine Aquifer Wells.

[v]Condemnation Case with County SUPREME COURT Decision

[vi]Compendium 6 Section on radionuclides Pages 46 through 345 Folder LInk

[vii]Michelle Hunter Permit approval letter

[viii]Corrective Action Order IBID Folder

[ix]David Maniatis Letter to NMED and Joe Campbell Letter to NMED during comment period

[x]OSE permit to test pump Folder Link



Fracking Pause on New Permits

Set for NM Legislature

Senator Benny Shendo signing as co-sponsor to Moratorium Bill

Moratorium On New Fracking Permits 

New Mexico EMNRD Oil Conservation Department does not know the exact number of permits issued, the number of wells drilled or what they produce? There is no accounting of the water used in the state from the industry.  “Produced water alone is 6 or 7 times more than what the City of Albuquerque drinks in a year,” said Senator Bill Payne of Bernalillo County.

 Produced Water is only 1/3 of the water that comes back to the surface

Senator from District 20 Bernalillo County

called “Flow back”. The other 2/3 of the water is a result of “Shake and Bake”  fracturing process, where the process disappears water FOREVER from the Hydrological Cycle of the Earth’s atmosphere. In the Southwest during drought and extreme drought with extreme weather climate-related events, we citizens need an accounting of where our water is going it the time of water scarcity.

  • This video is an excerpt on water consumption use and what the fracking industry is using without oversight. 
  • The State for Fracking in New Mexico It was glazing of the industry which almost all impacts from this process were left out. and the Republicans were allowed to run the time clock out so they did not have time to hear the people speak about this moratorium. 

Edited Version By Charles Arasin, Visual Storyteller. Jan. 31, 2019 NM Senate Conservation Committee Presentation 

Citizen Grassroots legislation comes forward with the help of newly appointed Senator Antoinette Sedillo Lopez. 

Legislative leaders, in coordination with frontline citizen groups, have proposed a bill that addresses the current threats of multiple permit applications from hydraulic drilling in the Middle Rio Grande Basin — the drinking water for over 800,000 residents. Legislators’ are proposing a 4-year moratorium with a set timeline and administrative milestones on new fracking permits in the State. Hydraulic fracturing impacts destroy the groundwater, disappear 2/3 of the water used from the hydrological cycle, raise dangerous ozone levels causing multiple health and land use impacts, which are already occurring in the Greater Chaco Region in Sandoval County, NM.  

“A moratorium will protect the pristine aquifers being threatened by fracking now,” said Legislative sponsor Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, adding, “Our communities are already bearing the brunt of the health and safety impacts that come with fracking. The laws and regulations we have now aren’t protecting them, our water, our land or our climate. We have a responsibility to protect the health and safety of our people and our beautiful land and pure water.  We need time to get this right.”  

After asking for a New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources

Senator Bill Soules District 37 Was the first to bring forward a moratorium that exempted the Permian Basin and it was tabled and never heard.  He asked about produced water in the Permian Basin.

department presentation to the Senate Conservation Committee about the state of fracking in New Mexico, newly appointed NM State Senator Antoinette Sedillo Lopez became concerned about the fact that the industry has moved forward so fast and is lagging behind the department’s ability to inspect wells and enforce regulations. She is asking for an important pause in the current agenda to facilitate necessary conversations, studies and plans to address the gaps in the state’s ability to address the impacts on our air, land, water and human life. The four-year moratorium will prohibit new permits and allow existing wells to continue producing revenues for the State. The bill asks the relevant agencies to report to the legislature and the governor the actual and potential impact of hydraulic fracturing.

 The bill tackles:

  1.      Current impacts of fossil fuel extraction serious gaps regarding quantity and quality impacts on aquifers, measured emissions, and other land use impacts on health in affected communities, inspection enforcement within our State that constitutes an emergency necessitating immediate legislative action to Protect the Public Health and Welfare for the State of New Mexico.  
  2.       Accelerating climate change must be addressed with Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions capture and drawdowns.

There are over 67,000 gas and oil wells in private and NM state lands. This number does not include tribal or public lands. At present, there is not a complete record of the number of permits application approved and newly active wells. The bill requires agencies to report and recommend measures that address the issues to the legislature on impacts on public health, water, air, land, and the climate before issuing any new permits.

Senator Nancy Rodriquez – District 24 signs on to co-sponsor the Moratorium Bill
  • BLM Lease Sale protest Santa Fe
    “Not Your Sacrifice Zone: We Demand Justice” – Greater Chaco Advocates Rally at BLM to Protest Sale of Over 89,000 Acres for Fracking December 5th, 2018
    — with Samuel Sage at Bureau of Land Management – New Mexico.


    Samuel Sage, Community Services Coordinator for the Counselor Chapter of the Navajo Nation, testified to this.”Since 2014, we have been overrun by oil and gas companies….people are complaining about the foul, smelly air. Our community members started complaining about respiratory problems. That has increased.1 The cancer rate within our community has gone up….”

  • ·The Albuquerque Basin, one of only four active rift zones in the world, is uniquely susceptible to groundwater contamination from fracking. We cannot allow the main drinking water source for our state to become polluted. Video Presentation from Geologist Don Phillips on the dangers of fracking in the Middle Rio Grande Basin.

Press Conference Monday 9:00, February 4,h2019, State Capitol Roundhouse – The Rotunda

AMA Internal Medicine: Fracking: Asthma: Meeting of the State of hydraulic Fracking Senate Conservation Committee meeting Jan 31, 2019, Entire Verison 


Speak Out: Public Comment on Oil & Gas Ordinance

Nitrogen used in Fracking operations AKA”Shake and Bake” disappears water from the hydrological cycle

November 29th, 2018 Final Vote to approve publication along with the First and Last Public Comment at 6 pm, County Commission Chambers, Sandoval County Administration Bldg. 1500 Idalia Rd Bernalillo NM 87004   

Here is the Draft ordinance for Comments 11-29-18 OilandGasProposedOrdinanceforFinalVote11-29-18

PLEASE EMAIL and start calling:
“David J. Heil (Sandoval County NM, Commissioner – Chairman, ph 505-252-6085)” <>,

“Dr. James F. Holden-Rhodes (Sandoval County NM, Commissioner, ph 505-235-5628)”

“Jay C. Block (Sandoval County NM, Commissioner, ph 505-252-6218)” <>,

“Don G. Chapman (Sandoval County NM, Commissioner, ph 505-414-6247)” <>,

“F. Kenneth Eichwald (Sandoval County NM, Commissioner – Vice-Chairman, ph 505-252-7412)”

Tell The Commissioners:

1.) Please contact these commissioners and tell them to make a motion to vote this ordinance down.

2.) Make a motion to hire the Ferlic Planning group and Attorney vet the 2 CWG ordinances because of dueling opinions in science and law.…/OilandGasProposedOrdi…

3.) Call the County on working FOR Thrust Energy, the oil and gas industry, that amounted to a hatchet job on the Science Citizens ordinance and ignored the 25-member Citizens Working Group Ordinance,  as stated by Don Chapman in the last board meeting that Heil is working with Thrust energy to write the amendments while ignoring public health and safety countywide. See our facebook page for updates and more information.

4.) Ask the County to issue FINDINGS on the Public Comments submitted as to why they have accepted and rejected items from the Citizens Working Group Ordinances and the public comments submitted online. Please write your comments to this email address and include the email for the commissioners on the post. If you attach items please be sure to askt he IPO to include attachments and comments in the entirety :
Sandoval County Oil and Gas Ordinance Public Comments <>

5.) Ask the County to Read the 4th Assessment on Climate and Issue findings on why they accept or reject this assessment on the ordinance impact to climate and emissions. According to EDF, 80% of emissions in NM are from Oil and Gas Production that created a methane cloud over the 4 Corners the size of Delaware.…/climate-change-report-bn/index.html

Fracking, pumping brine for fracking 100,000 gas wells on private and public lands, and the fires that Climate Change that holds dire consequences for people in NM. Sandoval County Oil and Gas Ordinance vote it down, revise and vet it and come back with a series of community meetings. Three possible lawsuits pending pay $100,000. They already paid NM Tech for Oil and gas info.

Taxpayers money needs investment in a strong ordinance.
Final Vote and First and Last Public Comment 11/29/18 6 pm County Commission chambers 1500 Idalia Rd Bernalillo NM 87004
Please read our blog posts for in-depth information on the issue. It’s time to call these people out #ClimateChange  


UPDATE Public Comments submitted 11-21-18

Here are some public comments directed at the Sandoval County Commissioners about the county’s proposed oil & gas ordinance to be recorded as my public comment for the county’s oil & gas ordinance. There are also several documents attached which serve as background information that is part of my comments and I ask that these documents be included in the county’s public comment record.


County Commissioners,

I ask that you please consider during your oil & gas ordinance evaluation the effects of oil & gas extraction activities on people’s health, welfare, and safety.

To show the human face of such extraction activities I ask that you view a film about such effects in the town of Aztec New Mexico. This video may be viewed on YouTube. I made this video based on my August 2018 visit to Aztec to see for myself how oil & gas extraction has affected this town’s residents as discussed by a long-time Aztec resident. This 40-minute film has an 8 minute summary at the beginning.

Oil & Gas Drilling – Sandoval County NM – 21 Aug 2018 – Aztec NM “Toxic Tour of Hell”

I ask that you also consider visiting Aztec and other areas with extensive oil & gas extraction activities so you can see, hear and smell for yourself these areas and decide if you think what you observe is significant.

There are also 2 documents attached relating to Aztec and oil & gas which may interest you.

2018-03-28 AZTEC NM OIL GAS — Grandmother protects her family from Fracking in New Mexico | Moms Clean Air Force.pdf

2018-08-08 AZTEC NM OIL GAS — Aztec NM grandmother recognized for the one-woman fight for clean air | NM Political Report  Thank you for your time.

– David Craig

– Cochiti Lake – New Mexico


The last meeting when they put a hatchet to the Citizens Working Group Science Ordinance 11-8-2018


UPDATE [ This letter from OSE on Brine Authorization regarding in the RIO PUERCO   Sandoval County Brine Contract Due DECEMBER 14 2018 Sandoval County has financial ties to oil and gas to sell raw brine for fracking operations through the partnership agreement.

NEW INFO ] This is based on the Extended modeling from the Interstate Stream Commission report that was concealed in the Sandoval County Case to District Court and the NM Supreme Court that shows the impacts to the Rio Grande on the Desalination Project. Commissioners,
Item 1 This commission must take into account the implications of the Interstate stream commission ISC report by Shoemaker in 2009 and 2013 that was concealed from the Sandoval County district court Case and NM Supreme Court(s) and even to the Legislature when they passed the brine preemption of no beneficial use drilling over depth of  2500ft. they did this despite knowing what the report said, that there were direct impacts to the Rio Grande from pumping brine. IMH financial Corp now has 47,000 AFY to pump as much water as Lake Heron.

These impacts appear to compromise the Rio Grande Compact and the ability to access water withdrawal in the State that has a direct impact on the groundwater drinking supply of the Upper Middle Rio Grande region. Vice a Versa Fracking or drilling (especially with brine) would impact and destroy the drinking water supply for the region. See the map above that shows the impacts of the ISC report. (More on brine impacts to the aquifer as we proceed)

The employees involved should be sanctioned, Mike Springfield and Diane Maes, they have the institutional knowledge and email shows they were knowledgeable and promoting this project through economic development as well being careful not to include the only water modeling report to be financed in the state.
Mike Springfield celebrated the win on the approval in the Legislature with MR George King in an Email, as without it would have been impossible to develop out this project without this legislation.
There was no record of the settlement agreement filed with County Clerk and no financial report or fiscal impact report to or from the County Treasurers office, with $6M of taxpayer money being spent on Desalination Pilot plant. And 47,000 afy In pumping rights? (of a finite source).
The raw brine can be used for fracking without polishing according to the OCD Santa Fe and Aztec Offices.
The county is supposed to receive payment for the $6m dollars in December and will able to sell 4,000 afy for industrial use. They are partners in the potential Exploitation of Resources that was concealed to the Courts and the Legislature based on Illegal behavior by the County Staff and the partners in the zeal for economic development.
The asset is being litigated heavily in Arizona on the valued $1B asset. Sandoval County is nowhere to be found. They should intervene. 

In order to protect the public health and safety of the people and environment of the region the brine desal directly impacts the oil and gas ordinance, the ISC report that was concealed would need to go back to district court for a decision on the new evidence to be referred to the NM Supreme Court. These water resources were stolen away from the state of NM, and the spoiled cases and concealment impact the Rio Grande Compact. We need an audit on the $6M -$10M the Citizens of Sandoval County Deserve a Financial and Ethics Audit since there was no official documentation to the County Clerks office or any fiscal impact reports on the project that can now be used as a potential water source for fracking.
We will put this all into the record. Commissioner Eichwald’s brother was the judge in the matter I believe. And all is in the discovery documentation that we received in an IPRA Documents request  that  included an email of
George King and Mike Springfield celebrating the passage of legislation that preempted drilling brine. It was
all part of the discovery in the case, a
well-documented matter of record, and now we have the missing piece of the puzzle of water hydrology studies and modeling previous said to not exist. There were two reports of the model that is now being expanded by the OSE.
There are serious implications and impacts all around. This commission should be aware of this report and we have filed a complaint against the County and people involved in this case, with the Office of the Attorney General.
Item 2. UPDATE: This did not make the ballot it was vacated.  Sandoval County voted on an unadvertised list for ICIP funds for roads,  bonds and then they added new items, not on their revised working list. The list should have been made public as it includes new highways funds to develop for fracking truck traffic and the Paseo Del Vulcan #ABQ by-pass, which topped the list. The county residents should have had more of a say to bring forward the projects they need in their respective districts. This is important information as you consider the oil and gas ordinance moving forward. 
Item 3. We still hold multiple OMA Violations and Ipra Violation by the County on this case and the further violations of the lack of transparency in this issue are being documented. There are a pattern and practice of operating including the lack of public comment and participation by the County.  These public comments put on the Website have never been included in the official comments of the Case; not in the Sandridge case nor in the Stoddard Ordinance Fiasco. We believe that is is also a violation of administrative law to direct the public to comment at this URL and then have no legal obligation to consider them. Here are some public comments directed at the Sandoval County Commissioners about the county’s proposed oil & gas ordinance to be recorded as my public comment for the county’s oil & gas ordinance. There are also several documents attached which serve as background information that is part of my comments and I ask that these documents be included in the county’s public comment record.


OCT 18, 2018 — Rio Rancho, NM —

Update on Ordinance Update for Citizens Working Groups Ordinance Process

Comparison of Documents  Oil and Gas Ordinance Comparision – Sandoval County NM Citizens’ Study Group (18 Oct 2018)

Comments to the Commission from the CWG Citizens Working Group Oil and Gas Ordinances Comments – Sandoval County NM Citizens’ Study Group (18 Oct 2018)-2


UPDATE FOR OCTOBER 18th 2018 Work Session email sent to Commissioners


Attached is a copy of the CWG Ordinance Team ordinance that was submitted to the county on October 10 (Wednesday). Specifically, commission chairman Heil was sent a copy as were the P&Z director and P&Z deputy director.

Am sending you this ordinance and its legal review materials in case these were not forwarded by the county to all the county commissioners. Given that the upcoming commission meeting on Thursday lists a CWG Ordinance Team presentation, I thought it may be beneficial for all the county commissioners to at least have access to this ordinance.

The CWG Ordinance Team recently created a website which includes all the materials for the commission’s Oct 18 meeting so people can more easily access these materials. Trying to find these materials from the county meeting agenda or the County’s oil & gas information site is very difficult. The CWG Ordinance Team ordinance and its legal reviews are also on this CWG web site.

I am also very concerned about the following items for the commission’s October 18 meeting agenda;

– CWG Ordinance Team ordinance is not posted with the agenda
– NM Tech updated study is not posted with the agenda
– CWG Science Team ordinance and Baseline ordinance are not those forwarded by the P&Z commission
– Oil & Gas weekly public comments for the week ending October 12, 2018, were changed

The different posted ordinances between the P&Z and County Commission meeting are very troublesome and show at best either staff confusion or ineptitude.

On the county’s website homepage ( the following statement appears:

“the only way we can truly meet the needs of our communities is by hearing from you”

Given the county commission’s continued failure to provide complete oil & gas ordinance information to the public which would have given the public information for its educated review of these ordinances and educated comments to the commission, same could say the county’s “hearing from you” statement is at best disingenuous.

Details …

– CWG Ordinance Team ordinance is not posted with the agenda

I must (again) to point out the October 18 commission meeting agenda does not include a post of the Ordinance Team ordinance as an attachment as it does for the other ordinances that will have a presentation. This ordinance was submitted to the county on October 10. The agenda attachment page for this topic lists “No file(s) attached”. If the county commission wants people with an interest in the County’s oil & gas ordinance reviews to be able to review all the ordinances, then posting all of the presentation ordinances would provide people access to these materials before the meeting. Selectively posting ordinances may cause people to question the commissioner’s county work transparency.

To be very candid, there was never a communication from the county P&Z staff or county commission Chairman Heil that the county would not post the CWG Ordinance Team ordinance. In a phone call to P&Z deputy director Makita Hill (505-867-7656, on October 15 Hill said this ordinance was not being posted because the P&Z commission had not forwarded this ordinance to the county commission. It is also understood that the county attorney Robin Hammer (505-404-5812, advised the county commission to not post this ordinance. How hard is it for someone in the county to have informed someone in the CWG Ordinance Team that the county would not post this ordinance and the reason? Very unprofessional behavior by Heil, Hill, and Hammer.

– NM Tech updated study is not posted with the agenda

The updated NM Tech study is also not posted with the meeting agenda. This update may be found on the county’s website page “Oil, Gas & Water Matter/Proposed Ordinance” ( under “New Mexico Tech Assessment Supplement Report – Oct 11, 2018”. It is good that the county posted this update here, but not having it posted as part of the meeting agenda makes it nearly impossible for people to find. Again, if the county commission is serious about residents being able to know about the county’s oil & gas efforts, then this study update would be posted with the agenda. This oil & gas info page does not mention for example at the top of this info page that this study is now present. Just adding an important file to the end of the page is rather lame without telling people about it, typical bureaucratic information control behavior.

– CWG Science Team ordinance and Baseline ordinance are not those forwarded by the P&Z commission

I also question the legal validity of the inclusion of several of the ordinances in the October 18 meeting agenda since these are not the same ordinances that the P&Z commission on September 25 forwarded to the county commission. The agenda states these ordinances are “As forwarded by the Planning and Zoning Commission”. Look at the 1st page of each ordinance to see the differences.

If the county commission is OK with using documents that have not actually been approved by other commissions and using whatever documents the commission wants, then it seems appropriate for the county commission to issue a county ordinance saying the commission is not bound by any document submissions and can use whatever they like.

Having different ordinances for the Oct 18 commission than what was actually approved by the P&Z is extremely troubling from the perspective of me, a county resident, and I suspect other county residents. The commission may try to explain this as just sloppiness on part of the county P&Z and commission staff, but this seems like a lame excuse for what some would say is gross staff incompetence and minimal commission oversight at best.

Given that the P&Z forwarded specific ordinances to the county commission, it only seems reasonable that the presentations for the CWG Science Team and P&Z Baseline ordinances can only use the Sep 25 P&Z forwarded ordinances and not any newer ordinances.

– Oil & Gas weekly public comments for the week ending October 12, 2018, were changed

After the weekly public oil & gas comments were posted for the week ending October 12, a few days later these comments were changed to include an ordinance. This ordinance is titled “CWG SCIENCE TEAM DRAFT: SWG-SC v3” which seems to be the latest CWG Science Team ordinance. I say “seems” since the title says “SWG” which I assume means Citizens Working Group. “SC” I assume really means “Science Team”. Seems whoever added this title had no idea of the correct name for this team.

This Science team Draft was not part of these public comments when the comments were first posted. These comments originally began with an October 11 posting by Steve Palmer which now appears after the Science Team ordinance. This ordinance seems also to have just been added to the public comment PDF document since there is no email attached to this PDF entry.

The entry for this public comment file on the oil & gas information page now states “Public comment includes recent revisions of CWG Science Committee Draft and CWG Draft”. This entry was changed after the Science Team ordinance was added to this comment file. Also “CWG Draft” is incomplete, seems like it should say instead “CWG Ordinance Team Draft”. Another example of what appears to be county staff incompetence.

It seems to me that someone at the county wanted the Science Team’s latest draft to be on the county website somewhere. This public comment draft is not the draft that the county P&Z forwarded to the county commission on September 25 which whose first page is titled “AUGUST 2018 CWG DRAFT”.

Someone at the county keeps playing immature and unprofessional games with the oil and gas ordinance review process.

The changed oil & gas weekly public comments are also very troublesome and seem to show an effort by I assume the county public information officer (PIO) [Melissa Perez, (505) 867-7640,] to change a public comment document for some unknown reason.

Thank you for your time.

– David Craig
– Cochiti Lake – New Mexico
– 505.465.0087 /

– Sandoval County Aquifer Water Protection &
Oil and Gas Citizens Working Group (CWG)
– CWG Secretary & CWG Ordinance Team member

From: David Craig <>
Date: Wed, Oct 10, 2018 at 12:35 PM
Subject: CWG Ordinance Team 10/10/2018 ordinance submission to Sandoval County Commission for Oct 18 commission meeting
To: David J. Heil (Sandoval County NM, Commissioner – Chairman) <>
Cc: Michael Springfield (Sandoval County Planning & Zoning Department, Director, ph 505-867-7628) <>, Makita Hill (Sandoval County Planning & Zoning Department, Deputy Director, ph 505-867-7656) <>

Commissioner Heil,

Attached is the CWG Ordinance Team’s oil & gas ordinance submission to the Sandoval County Commission for inclusion in the commission’s October 18 ordinance review meeting.

There are 2 files attached; one is the ordinance itself and the other contains the team’s legal reviews for this ordinance. We ask that the county please include both files on the county commission meeting web site.

If the county has any problems with these 2 files please let me know.

Thank you for your time.


OCT 11, 2018 — Rio Rancho, NM —


The oil & gas ordinance discussion from the Oct 4, 2018, Sandoval County commission meeting is now on YouTube.
This video only contains the oil & gas discussions which include commission chairman Heil’s commission meeting schedule, public comments (Alan Friedman and Greg Bergmark spoke), and commissioner Block’s summary comments. A video content page at the beginning shows the elapsed times where you can easily find the parts you want to view.
I compiled this video from the county meeting videos to make it easy for people to review this meeting’s oil & gas ordinance discussions without having to wade through the 3-hour county web site videos. This oil & gas discussion video is around 20 minutes long.
YouTube location …
Oil & Gas Drilling – Sandoval County NM 04Oct2018 County Commission Meeting
I am very concerned about the process the county commission is using to merge the Citizens Working Group (CWG) science team ordinance and the county P&Z ordinance (really just the old Stoddard ordinance).
The commission’s dedication to this oil & gas ordinance process by spending 15 minutes for this rather important countywide topic was rather minimal (there were around 5 minutes of oil & gas public comments). Only a subset of the commissioners discussed the ordinance process, ordinances under review, and the entities that will provide their own presentations.
The county Stoddard ordinance was rejected by the county citizens, Tribes and the county commission in 2017. Now the county commission wants to resurrect this objectionable industry-friendly ordinance and somehow merge this with the CWG science team ordinance.
The commission stated that the county P&Z deputy director (Mr. Makita Hill <>) and the county attorney (Ms. Robin Hammer <>) are in the process of merging the two ordinances. I think there are several critical questions about this merging:
Q: What ordinance qualifications do the P&Z deputy and county attorney have to merge ordinances?
Q: What criteria are they using for the merge?
Q: Who specified the criteria?
Q: Who has directed them to do this merge?
The Citizens Working Group Ordinance Team ordinance is for all practical purposes being ignored by the county. IMHO, the CWG ordinance team ordinance provides the best solutions to the various issues relating to the county’s water protection and oil & gas development which the county commission’s own CWG mandate requested (see attached). This ordinance is not perfect (none are), but it contains I think the key parts for a very solid ordinance that is good for the water, people, Tribes and the oil & gas industry itself.
The county commission plans a work session on Oct 18 in which 4 entities including the CWG ordinance team will be able to present their ordinance’s key points for 30 minutes (see the attached meeting schedule);
o  New Mexico Tech oil/gas/water review update
o  Citizens Working Group (CWG) Science Team
o  Citizens Working Group (CWG) Ordinance Team
o  Baseline (or merged CWG ST/Baseline)
o  New Mexico Oil Conservation Division (OCD)
The county commission seems to be ignoring any Tribal input at the commission’s very important Oct 18 work session meeting.
The commission seems OK hearing from NM Tech, the CWG teams, the P&Z dept. and a state division — but hearing from the Tribes does not seem needed. The county commission should at least ask the Tribes if they would like to provide their own public presentation at the commission’s Oct 18 meeting.
In prior P&Z meetings, there were Government-to-Government communication items on their meeting agenda. Seems the county commission does not see any need to listen to the Tribes express their opinions and concerns about the County’s oil & gas ordinance’s effect on Tribal interests. I understand that Tribal lands within Sandoval County include around half the county.
The commission oil & gas ordinance meeting schedule document is also attached. Thanks to Greg Bergmark for requesting this at the meeting (Commissioner Block gave him his copy). This document was not on the county meeting’s website — it still isn’t. Seems from the meeting video that commission chair Heil prepared this document.
– David Craig
– Cochiti Lake – New Mexico
– Sandoval County Aquifer Water Protection &
     Oil and Gas Citizens Working Group (CWG)
– CWG Secretary & CWG Ordinance Team member
UPDATED – Draft  Citizens Working Group Ordinance
10-4-18 BoCC Sandoval Agenda OMA Agenda for Oct 4th meeting The OMA Item was Voted down.
Ordinance Comparisons 9_25_18  and UpDate after 9/25/2018 PZ meeting
NM-TECH SUPPLEMENTAL Report  NMTechSupplementReport-10-11-18
Final Authorization Letter on the Brine Use From  the State Engineers Office
UPDATE [ This letter from OSE on Brine Authorization regarding in the RIO PUERCO   NEW INFO ] This is based on the Extended modeling from the Interstate Stream Commission report that was concealed in the Sandoval County Case to District Court and the NM Supreme Court that shows the impacts to the Rio Grande on the Desalination Project. Commissioners,


Commissioners discuss the ordinance options

10/19 Publication of the outcome of the 10/18 meeting

11/1 BOC meeting, regularly scheduled items. No Oil and Gas discussion

11/8 Request for a motion to discuss the ordinance and vote to post for final action

Agenda for Oil and Gas

Commissioners’ Discussion of the proposed ordinances

11/9 Publication of the outcome of the 11/8 meeting

11/15 BOC meeting CANCELLED

11/29 BOC meeting

Agenda for Oil and Gas

Public Comment

Request a motion for Discussion and vote on a final ordinance

11/30 Publication of the outcome of the 11/29 meeting

12/13 BOC meeting

Agenda for Oil and Gas If final vote not taken on 11/29

Public Comment

Request a motion for Discussion and vote on a final ordinance

The County Intends to divide the County allowing unbridled fracking in the Rio Rancho Estates, the Rio Puerco and the NW sectors of the County. Thrust Energy is gearing up to Frack and they can use the brine water that Sandoval County is partners with the KING family and AZ Foreign Corporations, who may have committed fraud in order to steal brine water resources from the citizens of NM. (More Later of this story)

Here are the Dates for the Planning-Zoning Meetings — meetings are being fast-tracked or Fast-Fracked AGAIN!


Here are the Dates for the Couty Commission meetings

Here is the link to Videos of the Meetings where the O&G was most likely on the agenda Minutes unavailable after 6/2/2018 

BLM 1 minute Surface Management Map Composite Lower Resolution Include Topogrphics information
BLM 1 Minute Surface Management Map Composite Lower Resolution Include Topographic Information

The white areas on the map indicate County Private Property and would be open to fracking estimated 267,000 acres with the streamline permitting process. This is a 11-minute composite image of Sandoval County at a lower  resolution. We are creating overlays for this image — a work in progress.

Become Aware

Become aware of what is happening in your neighborhood or in areas nearby.
Fracking-slated private lands in SE Sandoval County Albuquerque Basin as per Sandoval County ordinance:

  • Rio Rancho Estates
  • Rio Rancho
  • Corrales
  • Bernalillo
  • Placitas
  • La Madera (HWY14 area)
  • Puercocito
  • Tejon
  • Budaghers
  • Pena Blanca
  • Algodonnes

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What You Should Know

  • The South East Region of Sandoval County
    100,000 acres under county jurisdiction of private property land holdings

Figure ! Rio Puerco Deep well impacts to RG and RSJ

Communities impacted on private land holdings in the Albuquerque Basin:

  • Rio Rancho Estates
  • Rio Rancho
  • Corrales
  • Bernalillo
  • Placitas
  • La Madera (HWY 14 area)
  • Puercocito
  • Tejon
  • Budaghers
  • Pena Blanca
  • Algodones
  • Potential drilling of 55,000 acres of BLM and State lands within Sandoval County and
  • Potential drilling of 32,000 acres of mineral leases on Zia Pueblo
  • An expected potential of 15,000 to 30,000 oil and gas wells will be developed– nearly the same number as in the Permian Basin which has been touted by Thrust Energy as a financial boon to the county coffers.
    • This is a Map provided to the County by the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association (NMO&GA) It does not include all the land holdings that we have documented. We are developing a GIS map since NM TECH ignore our IPRA (Inspection of Public Records Act)

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Call to Action