Take Action to Oppose Unnecessary, Economy-Killing Clean Air Regs for Albuquerque

Southwest Organizing Project has submitted a petition to the Albuqueque/Bernalillo Air Quality Board which would require onerous new restrictions on businesses applying for permits. Specifically, applicants would be forced to pay for air quality monitoring with the permit not approved until after the reports were done. In other words, this is yet another costly impediment to doing business in Albuquerque.

In addition, the applicant would be subject to a lawsuit by any individuals who believed that they would be harmed by the project or proposed project, to compel compliance with the proposed regulation.

This is a very brief, simplified explanation.

This petition will be heard by the Air Quality Board on March 12th at 5:30 PM in the City Council Chambers in the basement of City Hall. It is open to the public and SWOP has been encouraging their supporters to attend.
You can submit a letter to the Air Quality Board in opposition to this Petition.

1. Email a letter to Margaret Nieto, Control Strategies Supervisor – Nieto, Margaret E. mnieto@cabq.gov (By March 6th if possible so it can be distributed to Board members, but it will received and recorded after that date)

2. Attend the meeting on March 12th to submit your letter and speak if you would like.

March 5, 2014

Margaret Nieto, Control Strategies Supervisor
Albuquerque Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board
PO Box 1293
Albuquerque, NM 87103

Dear Ms. Nieto:

The Albuquerque-based Rio Grande Foundation respectfully requests that the Air Quality Board deny the “Petition to Amend Title 20, Chapter 11 of the NM Administrative Code”, submitted by Southwest Organizing Project.

It is hard to see this Petition as anything but a solution in search of a problem. Albuquerque’s air quality is considered to be very good. In 2013, it was named as 9th-cleanest city in America by the American Lung Association for year-round particle pollution.

Rather than cleaning up our already-clean air, this proposed Petition would provide another major hurdle to a wide range of commercial development in our City, due to both added exorbitant costs and time issues. Although the Petition claims to be interested in improving the quality of life in low-income and minority neighborhoods, its proposed mandates would, in fact, eliminate new jobs and services by driving new and expanding businesses out of the city and county. These requested regulations will severely damage the economic viability of the city and county as a whole, disproportionately impacting low-income and working-class residents of our City.

This Petition would not only affect small businesses like dry cleaners but also any business engaged in manufacturing. It would affect most buildings over 6 stories and many medical facilities since most must have a generator for life safety issues, and generators require a permit. It would affect any construction projects which must apply for a Fugitive Dust Permit and which, according to city staff, is a form of an air quality permit. This Petition’s reach would be sweeping and devastating.

This Petition, promoted under the guise of cleaner air, does significant harm and little, if any, good. It is a serious threat to our fragile economy, and, again, we urge you to deny the Petition at the March 12th meeting.


Paul J. Gessing
Rio Grande Foundation