This included the following areas: Pena Blanca, Budaghers, Algodones, Placitas, La Madera (East Mountains), Rio Rancho, Rio Rancho Estates, West Mesa, It also includes all the supporting infrastructure Compressor stations and Pipelines. If you know people living in these areas or know people concerned about this issue please share this article.

How the Stoddard Ordinance fell woefully short:

“The Stoddard ordinance calls for drilling permits to be administered through permissive-use instead of special-use. This means that Planning and Zoning Director Mike Springfield will have sole authority to process and approve drilling permits, eliminating the need for a public hearing or input. Permits will simply be qualified by a checklist, then approved within 10 days. This ordinance also allows for operational noise at higher levels than federal requirements, does not require water monitoring, imposes meager penalties on companies for violating laws, and allows for wells to be drilled within 750 feet of schools, churches, hospitals, and houses.”

Thoughtful O&G Ordinance designed by Santa Fe County:



Requirements for Rio Rancho Estates:

Water Well Monitoring Mandatory  starting 5-miles from each water well in a circumference of directional flow

Real-Time Air Monitoring program outside and inside school within in 10 Miles on any drilling operation.

Community District overlay and exclusion zone for Rio Rancho Estates to include the map for the  Rio Rancho Estates Masterplan 

Information for Rio Rancho Water Issues page and other Rio Rancho website information. City of Rio Rancho Info Portfolio 1 provides a portfolio of the issues along with potential language for Rio Rancho City Councilors to address.

January 10th 11 am Rio Rancho Loma Colorado Library Conference Room  Mayoral  Candidate (D) Tom Swisstack will be attending to answer the questions on the platform and the issue facing the water supply for Rio Rancho.

Requirements for La Madera, District 1, Sandoval County:

Protective Community Overlay Zone for La Madera Area of District 1, Sandoval County

We insist Sandoval County specifically exclude this area from all oil and gas (O&G) operations as commissioners move forward in developing a responsible ordinance governing O&G activity in the County.

This exclusion zone includes:

  • All communities comprising the East Sandia Mountain portion of Sandoval County (La Madera, San Pedro Creek Estates, The Overlook, Puertocito Road)
  • All undeveloped areas adjacent to these communities (e.g., The Golden Open Space, San Pedro Creek Open Space, Cibola National Forest)
  • The Turquoise Trail (NM 14), a designated National Scenic Byway

The risk is simply too high of O&G operations contaminating the heavily faulted and highly fractured aquifer from which the East Mountain area draws its drinking water. Groundwater from this aquifer finds its way into the Albuquerque Basin, an aquifer that supports one-third of New Mexico’s population.

Thousands of tourists traveling the Turquoise Trail each year generate substantial revenue for the state. It is in everyone’s interest to exclude this distinctive scenic corridor from any extractive activity, especially O&G. The narrow, winding two-lane National Scenic Byway cannot and should not support heavy truck traffic.

Santa Fe and Bernalillo counties are doing their part in protecting and preserving our fragile aquifers, our safety and health, property values, and the spectacular beauty that makes New Mexico such a desirable place to live and to visit. We fully expect Sandoval County to do the same

Dr. Holden Rhodes’ Position Letter to the Other County Commissioners:

See a New Year’s message below from James Holden-Rhodes, our Sandoval Co. District 1 Commissioner:

To: We, the People of District 1 1 Jan 18, 2018.  As stated earlier, the 4-1 defeat of the two O&G proposed ordinances was not an end. It is merely the beginning of a long drawn out battle. Thrust Energy—with 55,000 acres of leased private land—has stated that they will redouble their efforts to engage in what clearly would be potentially dangerous drilling/hydraulic fracking activities.

In anticipation of the SC Commissioners meeting on Jan 18, I want to call your attention—again—to critical factors/smart planning that I argue are paramount in moving ahead:

  1. We must create a wide-spread understanding—and acceptance— by all parties that draw from the Albuquerque Aquifer that the sub-strata associated with the aquifer is extremely fractured and that there is a high degree of probability that any drilling or hydraulic fracking will contaminate the aquifer.
  2. It is my intent to propose a resolution to the foregoing, as a prelude to anything O&G related in Sandoval County;
  3. Further, I will propose a resolution that will require the SC Commission to make contact with the City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County for the purpose of briefing them on the dangers of drilling/hydraulic fracking to the aquifer that we mutually share;
  4. I will request that the SC Commission identify and contact that individual in New Mexico State Government who has jurisdiction over aquifers throughout the state and request a formal statement defining the danger of aquifer contamination by drilling and hydraulic fracking in Sandoval County;
  5. I will make a motion that will require the SC Commission to issue a stop-work order to suspend the work that NM Tech is presently doing.This is important as it is clear that Tech’s work to date is aimed at identifying “fertile” areas for Oil & Gas exploration not focusing upon aquifers and the impact thereon of O&G operations. [Should we not do this, how then, can we justify to the citizens of the county that we will pay for something that is of no value?] ;
  6. I will make a second motion to the effect that the SC Commission must make a determination as to who—SC personnel /selected outside experts/etc— will craft a definitive statement of work which will be given to New Mexico Tech to carry out that which is desired by the Sandoval County Commission;
  7. And, a final motion declaring a moratorium on any and all new O&G operations in SC. The moratorium will stay in effect until SC has had the time to adequately study the results of the newly focused NM Tech report;
  8. The SC Commission shall direct the SC Planning and Zoning Board (P&Z Board) to study the Mora County and Santa Fe County O&G ordinance experience[s] as background to be used whenever a new O&G ordinance is being drafted.;
  9. Lastly, I am opposed to, and will vote against, any motion to address in any way, shape, or manner a move to send the Heil and Stoddard Ordinances back to the SC P&Z Board. Such a benighted move would be an exercise in futility; and, a major slap in the face of We, the People…..

Semper Fidelis H-R

Below are key provisions and objectives to include in the Sandoval oil and gas ordinance:

  • Is consistent with state and federal regulations, as well as County comprehensive and area plans
  • Requires pre-application meeting of stakeholders as well as well-defined public review and approval/disapproval processes
  • Assesses fees to an applicant for the county to hire professional expert or consultant review
  • Controls off-site public nuisances – traffic, dust, visual impacts, odors
  • Controls pollution – water, air, noise, light, vibration
  • Requires protective measures for the Albuquerque Basin Aquifer
  • Requires detailed, pre-permit assurances of safe practices to prevent accidents and to address them if and when they happen
  • Requires specification of water usage, source of water and disposal of waste at each phase of development
  • Requires pre-development baseline ground and surface water testing as well as air quality and noise level testing
  • Requires setbacks from sensitive locations – streams, water wells, acequias, schools, hospitals, churches, homes, cultural and historic sites, parks and designated wildlife protection areas
  • Controls additional impacts: pipeline routing, waste disposal and steel double lined containment (on-site and off-site), abandoned wells, reclamation, seismic activity
  • Covers county impact costs – road maintenance and deterioration, reviews and inspections, law enforcement, medical and drug treatment, emergency services (fire, ambulances)
  • Determines sensitive areas that may be permanently damaged by drilling (“suitability”) as well as areas that are suitable for drilling
  • Requires a cultural resource protection plan
  • Requires a review of an applicant’s financial and environmental violation history
  • Includes reliable financial assurance requirements to pay for damages,  $30 MM Bond
  • Requires regular, independent monitoring and inspections
  • Includes meaningful violation penalties and remedies
  • Provides remedies for possible property right impacts
  • Provides for post-abandonment reclamation, monitoring, and remediation

Rio Grande, Placitas, La Madera concerns about aging pipelines running through our district:

Proposal letter to the U.S. Secretary of Transportation: 

Key Supporters of the Proposed Prevention, Repair, and Replacement of Pipelines

Jodilynn Ortiz, Consultant, Consulting USA. LLC, affiliates who have signed on to the proposal that went to the pipeline corporations 45 days ago, Bernalillo Public Schools, San Antonio de Las Huertas Land Grant, ESCA-Eastern Sandoval County Association, Common Ground Community Trust — Organizations. Senator Tom Udall has been informed. The PRC-New Mexico Regulatory Commission has given supporting documentation and findings for the use of this proposal. Any other supporter of the pipeline proposal issue please contact us and we will add your name.

Learn more about Pipelines — fs_1706_pipelines-web

Make the Call,Write the Letters,
Let’s hear your Voice & Come to the Meeting

Call and Email 

James Holden Rhodes District 1

Phone: 505-235-5628

Jay Block                   District 2   [email protected]


Don Chapman Chair  District 3 


David Heil                  District 4   [email protected] 


Kenneth Eichwald    District  5 


Responsible for driving the ‘Dead” ordinance process

Michael Springfield
Director, Planning & Zoning
Phone: 505-867-7628


Planning & Zoning Commissioner Contact Information

James G. Maduena – [email protected]
District 1/Sponsored by Commissioner (Vacant)
P O Box 845
Placitas, NM 87043
Hm: 867-4792
Term Expires December 31, 2018

Keith Brown – [email protected]
District 2/Sponsored by Commissioner Block
2603 Corte Castellon SE
Rio Rancho, NM 87124
Hm: 505-301-9387
Term Expires March 31, 2019

Daniel J. Stoddard – [email protected]
District 3/Sponsored by Commissioner Chapman
6436 Matamoros Rd NE
Rio Rancho, NM 87144
Hm: 575-791-3393
Term Expires April 30, 2018

Geoffrey Stamp  – [email protected]
District 4/Sponsored by Commissioner Heil
63 2nd St SE
Rio Rancho, NM 87124
Hm: 505-340-6935
Term Expires April 30, 2018

Aparcio C. Hererra, Jr. – [email protected]
District 5/Sponsored by Commissioner Eichwald
P.O. Box 24
27 San Louis Avenue
Cuba, NM 87013
Hm: 575-289-3754
Cell: 505-252-2013
Term Expires January 31, 2018

Dennis R. Trujillo – [email protected]
District 5/Sponsored by Commissioner Eichwald
P.O. Box 163
Ponderosa, NM 87044
Hm: 505-508-6566
Term Expires April 30, 2019

Commissioner Group Email – P&[email protected]

Letters to the Editor

Rio Rancho Observer 400 word Limit

ABQ Journal  400 word Limit

Corrales Comment

must join website to post comments

KUNM CALL IN SHOW  Ask for a Series on the Fracking in NM

[email protected]

Calls, emails and Letters to the your elected officials including your State legislators 

Talking Points 

Selected Serious Omissions in the  flawed ordinance moving forward”

  • No safety plan
  • No criteria for acceptance/rejection of O&G applications
  • No public review of exploratory well applications
  • No pre-drilling air/water quality measurements
  • No aquifer protection requirements or monitoring
  • No groundwater or surface water quality monitoring
  • No air emission or air quality measurements
  • No verification that operator performs as promised
  • No noise or operational hours requirements
  • No protection for split estate surface landowners

One of the Talking Points on the safety concerns are not being addressed in the Sandoval County Ordinance Process. 

We, the undersigned concerned residents and organizations in greater northern New Mexico, request the following measures be taken to ensure greater public safety and preparedness in case of oil field caused accidents:

  • An Emergency Preparedness and Evacuation Plan that addresses all risks from oil operations in the San Juan Basin and Mancos Shale regions to be posted in all Chapter Houses and Pueblo Communites and all of the surrounding County residents with Emergency Contacts for fire, rescue,
  • livestock evacuation, medical treatment and emergency shelter, In all public centers and sent to people in the County through a public education  infomration meetings, newspaper and through social media.
  • Emergency Hotline to local radio, TV and state website (similar to weather alerts) to inform residents of emergency conditions and what actions the public should take for their own safety.
  • Oil company website updates on air and water monitoring being conducted at the site of an accident (fire, spill, leak, explosion, collision) within the first 24 hours so residents and the public, including travelers, are kept informed as to air and water quality and levels of risk of exposure.
  • Compensation to residents who suffer damages, livestock losses and human health and veterinary costs related to  an accident.
  • Qualified medical assistance during and after an emergency to assess and if necessary refer for treatment any person injured or made ill as a result of the incident.
  • Livestock mortality contact so landowners can report livestock killed as result of accident.

Explosion in Nagezzi in July 2016  Photo Credit:Kendra Pinto

The US Chemical Safety Board has published the following recommendations that would help ensure a more appropriate response in the event of a future accident:

Training for emergency responders, including hazardous materials training;

·       Local emergency planning, and community response plans and teams;

·       Use of community notification systems;

·       Use of an incident command system and the National Incident Management System;

·       Conducting emergency response exercises;

·       Information sharing between facilities, emergency responders and the community;

Such emergency measures would provide a minimum of assistance for rural and urban residents who have little to no local rescue or medical services and who are living in such close proximity to potentially dangerous extraction operations. Or will be living in close proximity (within 10 miles ) of the potential fracking operations slated for the Rio Grande Valley in Sandoval County.

Sandoval County has failed to provide us with an Emergency Safety Plan stating that it is a matter of National Security. The County Attorney has failed to provide our attorneys with a citation on the matter that proves they are allowed to withhold such information from county residents. We need your help to pursue this case in court. If you can donate to our cause to protect our communities and help cover our expenses. 

About Us

Stop Fracking the Rio Grande Valley is now a grassroots community organization 501c3 Under Common Ground Community Trust  We are fiscally sponsored by the Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice. We need your help through donations to cover expenses including legal, and operational expenses. We are all volunteers.

Contributions over $100 are tax deductible:

Make Checks To ACP&J  

memo line: Common Ground Community Trust  

Send to: 907 Nyasa RD SE Rio Rancho, NM 87124  

StopFrackingTheRioGrandeValley  Facebook Page for more information

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