County Commission to Vote on O&G ‘NO Protections’ Ordinance

Placitas Community Member Mike Neas Wrote:
We were given only one chance and only at the very end of the P and Z Commission entire proceedings to produce and present our comprehensive recommendations to the most recent Suazo (Thrust Energy Attorney) (Stoddard) document which had only been posted on the Sandoval Co website 4 or 5 days prior to our presentation. Our document needed to and did follow their most recent version. We demonstrated to everyone in that room that we were more than willing and capable of producing a quality fair recommendation to their document. Our participation has been and will continue to be what participatory democracy is meant to be. A job well was done.
But, The process has continually been rigged manipulated and violated by our bureaucrats and elected officials. IMHO, the CC on at least 2 occasions violated the Open Meetings Act by discussing (twice) and voting (once) on versions of the Stoddard Ordinance that had not even been in existence when the Agenda was posted 72 hours prior to the meetings. Numerous IPRA requests have been made and have gone unanswered and or been responded to with untrue information or inadequate information.
(Common Ground Filed 5 Complaints to the Office of the Attorney General for a transparency investigation on these issues) 
On Tuesday the P and Z Commission voted to send an ambiguous and undrafted document to the CC which would contain some form of a memorandum of recommendation.
No one in the room including the Commissioners knew exactly what the memorandum would contain. The discussion of the memorandum was totally inadequate and any final recommendation of the P and Z Commission should have been combined with the Stoddard document and then presented and voted on at the following P and Z meeting. They voted on a document that did not exist.
John Arango, Don Chapman, and Mike Springfield have purposely corrupted our County Process.
AT RISK is the ALBUQUERQUE BASIN and the Drinking Water Supply for the Regions
We are wondering where you are?

We are also calling out for legal assistance on this issue Please contact us! 

County to Vote on O&G ‘NO Protections’ Ordinance

September 21 there is a public hearing on the motion to publish the ordinance 

 6 PM Sandoval County Admin Building 3rd floor 1500 Idalia Rd SE. Bernalillo. NM 87004 

  • There are no water protections. The word aquifer is not in the text.
  • Rubber stamps permitting applications 10-day turn around.
  • There are no air protections and No public health and safety considerations.
  • The County preempted the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) Chapter 106 -Tribal Consultation. They were erroneously told they did not have to follow the federal law.
  • There is a statement in the SOP for tribal “Notification” to drill within three miles of reservation borders only. This is a ‘Notification’ not Tribal Consultation.  attending a powwow is not ‘tribal consultation.’ as was mentioned in a previous county meeting.
  • County Commissioners stated that they would have a public hearing at Santo Domingo/Kewa Pueblo, then they preempted NHPA and made no further attempt before publishing the ordinance. THEY LIED to the TRIBES TO THEIR FACE on the record.
  • The ordinance is 9-pages and streamlines permits with only best management practices.this will make the shortest and worst ordinance in the State of NM and will hold the county liable.
  • No Emergency Safety Response plan –IPRA Request and Determination letter from OAG finds the County breaks the law. 
  • No risk assessments on Property Tax Valuation Impacts on property valuation after oil and gas impacts.
  • No baseline studies
  • No presentations from geohydrologists or any of our other professionals
  • Has heard disproportionately the presentations from the industry.
  • Refuse Physicians For Social Responsibility to present Peer studies on health impacts.
  • County has refused to consider Santa Fe ordinance or San Miguel ordinance that offers more land use and environmental protections and preempts Sandoval County as retaliation for requesting a moratorium.
  • Basically, this ordinance is a “Notice of intent to drill’ with changing conditional use permits for oil and gas drilling. Some residents had no options for public hearings for neighbors in certain areas of the County. 
  • This includes at present for RIO Rancho Estates Residents,  areas under conditional use permits there are NO options for public hearings this also includes most of the county that will be hand stamped by the Mike Springfield planning director and industry hack.

Contact them and ask them for the protections like Santa Fe and San Miguel counties. Demand that they honor their promises. Give everyone notice, give everyone a public hearing,

To Contact the Commissioners click here

Update on P&Z Actions 

On September 12th the P&Z voted 3-2 to recommend the O&G  Draft 3 ordinance that streamlines the permitting process without a public hearing to most of the County residents.  Despite a brilliant attempt and hard work of a citizens study group on writing insertions for a Citizens’ ordinance draft. These men and women gave the County the opportunity to do the right thing and protect the citizens from the disparate impacts of sitting 15,000 + oil and gas wells in Sandoval County.

Mary Feldblum and Alan Friedman did an excellent presentation on the ordinance, while it still won’t give the protections needed, what they offered was a compromise, the P&Z Thumbed their noses which were expected and then totally overlooked the insertions.  the Citizens Study group were thrown bones on noise and notifications in a memo to the County Commission. These idiots couldn’t even draft one word of the language and ignored the rest of the 26 pages. 

An interesting observation was that most of the language the Citizen Ordinance used was what the planning staff had written in the second Draft.  This was before Stoddard trotted in to present the oil and gas industry’s draft and then called it his own.

We will be posting the video of the meeting on our website 

The ordinance now goes to the County Commission on September 21st for a motion to publish and to hold one last public hearing. We should push for the protections needed in the Santa Fe Ordinance, a moratorium to do these studies and baseline measurements and show up by the hundreds to the next meeting. Still, they would not extend the process to 30 days everything stayed at 10-days just as the state dictated to the Commission on May 12

The P&Z Commissioners Keith Brown and John Arango sold out the water for the Rio Grande by ignoring the possible insertions as provided by the study group with their vote. Despite asking some good questions, Arango and Brown gave people false hope that they actually were going to protect water resources in our region. They were a bitter disappoint for citizen’s governance in the County, as is the County Commission in this entire process. 

“The county commissioners by voting for this ordinance is turning our region into the National Sacrifice Zone.”  They are all talk and no walk. Furthermore, they have to cheat us to beat us!

Eichwald’s commissioner was absent two times in a row without calling in to vote and one commissioner resigned. They never bothered to replace them making sure there were not the votes to hold up the ordinance.

So what can you do? COME TO THE MEETING

September 21 there is a public hearing on the motion to publish the ordinance  6 PM Sandoval County Admin building 3rd floor 1500 Idalia Rd SE. Bernalillo. NM 87004 

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Once the drilling rigs show up it is too late to do anything!
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