Moving forward in Sandoval County: Proposal for a CAB Stakeholders Regional Plan and Moratorium

About the featured image: a photo that was taken three days ago by Daniel Tso and Mark LeClaire, up in the Greater Chaco Area of Counselors, NM in Sandoval County. Many residents are already seeing and feeling the side effects and health impacts in the region because of increased fracking activity. Sandoval County is already under a health and safety assault by the industry. Under a leaden sky, trucks and cranes cluster around a borehole, injecting liquid nitrogen deep into our Mother. Beneath the hiss and clank, a deeper boom sounded like explosions ripped through shale. There was something furtive and perverse in the commotion. In the industry, they commonly called this activity, shake and bake.  Imagine the opposite of rendering aid. This was something to bear witness to, something that cannot be unseen….some memories we carry like weapons.  #resist

A Regional Stakeholder Plan Resolution 

Common Ground Community Trust has been working with groups to come up with a proposal to move forward an agenda on the oil and gas ordinance in Sandoval County. We are asking the County to consider a Final Draft Resolution For Stakeholders Regional Plan, designed to support groups to be involved in a Citizens Advisory Board (CAB) and to allow governmental entities start a dialog toward tribal consultation with the tribes.  This will allow time for creating the baseline studies needed for the region. The CGR committee, called the Indigenous Voice Committee, adopted language for inclusion in the both the Stakeholder Regional Plan and the Moratorium. This was given to stakeholders during the drafting of these documents. This process brought people to the table to begin the discussion.

The CAB Regional Plan should start to address in separate committees, the 5-pipeline public safety issue, the oil and gas ordinance, water concerns and public safety issues drilling brings with it. To find out more information see, Portfolio 5-pipeline Safety Issue on the documents menu page. You will find the Placitas Pipeline Exposure Presentation Presentation Pipelines FAQ sheet menu page.  Here is an overview of the EXECUTIVE SUMMARY.

Sandoval County has 12 tribes and pueblos that are within the boundaries of the County. The County is required following the New Mexico Collaboration Act because of the cultural resources and private properties fee simple properties under tribal jurisdiction within the county. While there is no direct rule, there are supremacy clause obligations, the US Supreme Court rulings, and International Law, that the County is required to follow. This process requires several steps for the County to consult with every tribe and pueblo individually. This will take time and in order to protect the County from lawsuits over permit applications coming from Thrust Energy or any others, a moratorium must be established.

The solution for the County: The County must hire a tribal liaison to educate the County on policy, procedures, and protocol interactions with the various tribes. Each Tribe and Pueblo is an inherent sovereign nation with its own culture, cultural resources, and customs.

We are supporting and requesting a Two-Year Moratorium DRAFT FINAL ORDINANCE-2-year Moratorium-EC

What is a Moratorium? The oil and gas industry equates a moratorium to a ban, which it is not.

  • *A: a legally authorized period of delay in the performance of a legal obligation or the payment of a debt.
  • *B: a waiting period set by an authority- Merriam-Webster
  • *C: the act of suspending: the state or period of being suspended such as:
    • *a: temporary removal
    • *b: Temporary withholding( Decision)

Common Ground Community Trust has worked to start a dialog with stakeholders in the region in order to develop a community-based plan that works to solve the problems of aquifer contamination and air contamination in New Mexico from the o&g industry. We would like to see this resolution become a legislative memorial that establishes a legislative oversite committee of the regional plan process that would enable the CAB to develop the needed legislation to solve the problems facing counties. It is mandatory that we establish water protection zones, where there is a need to protect air, drinking water, and public health and safety. This will allow for the dialog to begin.

As Common Ground Community Trust moves forward with our organization’s activism, we will continue to support efforts to increase the dialog between stakeholders and citizens in order to do the work necessary to protect our water, air and sacred Earth.

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