Protect New Mexico's Rivers
More than 85% of New Mexico’s streams are vulnerable to dumping and development. Now, polluters’ allies in Congress are trying to block the EPA from restoring vital safeguards. To protect New Mexico’s waterways, we need to show massive public support for clean water.
At risk: 88% of New Mexico’s streams
Shortsighted legal decisions have left 88% of New Mexico’s streams vulnerable to dumping and irresponsible development, which impacts the drinking water for over 280,000 New Mexicans. Polluters can dump garbage into streams, developers can pave over wetlands to build strip malls, and the cops on the environmental beat can’t do a thing about it. And it’s not just small streams and wetlands that will suffer — these waterways are the same ones that feed the Gila River and the Rio Grande and help to keep them clean.
Polluters poke holes in Clean Water Act
For nearly 40 years, the Clean Water Act has helped New Mexico — and states across the nation — care for and clean up our waterways. Thanks in large part to this groundbreaking law, rivers are no longer so polluted that they catch fire, as Ohio’s Cuyahoga infamously did in 1969. Still, much work remains to be done. Our report, “Wasting our Waterways” found that polluters dumped 56,000 pounds of toxic chemicals into New Mexico’s rivers in a single year. We need to do more to protect our waters — not less.
Unfortunately, over the past decade, polluters have used the courts to put Clean Water Act protections in legal limbo, arguing that the law doesn’t cover the smaller streams and wetlands that feed and clean the Gila, the Rio Grande, and all of New Mexico’s rivers. They want to throw out nearly 40 years of Clean Water Act protection, leaving polluting industries free to dump into our streams and pave over our wetlands without asking for permission.
Our plan to defend New Mexico’s rivers
This summer, the EPA is working to close the loopholes in the Clean Water Act. This could be the single largest step taken for clean water in more than a decade—protecting more than 100,999 miles of our streams from big polluters. But the polluters are pressuring the EPA to back down. They’ve threatened “legal warfare,” and made false claims, including one that the EPA wants to “regulate mud puddles.” We’re organizing everyone from local anglers to scientists to our neighbors, to convince the EPA to stand up to the pressure and protect our streams.
With thousands of New Mexicans visiting our state’s rivers each year to raft, kayak, or fish, it’s no wonder so many people are standing up for clean water. But if we’re going to push past ExxonMobil and other powerful polluters, we’re going to need everyone who cares about New Mexico’s waterways to get involved. Join our campaign by sending the EPA a message today.
Tell the Environmental Protection Agency that you love the Gila, Pecos, and all of New Mexico’s rivers, and want to see them protected.
- 88% of New Mexico’s rivers and streams are at risk of pollution.
- Polluters dumped 56,000 pounds of toxic chemicals into our water in a single year.
- Thousands of New Mexicans have already joined our call to protect New Mexico’s rivers, streams, and waterways.