skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Progressives call push to change Constitution "risky," Judge rules Donald Trump defrauded banks, insurers while building real estate empire; new report compares ways NY can get cleaner air, help disadvantaged communities.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

House Speaker McCarthy aims to pin a shutdown on White House border policies, President Biden joins a Detroit auto workers picket line and the Supreme Court again tells Alabama to redraw Congressional districts for Black voters.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

An Indigenous project in South Dakota seeks to protect tribal data sovereignty, advocates in North Carolina are pushing back against attacks on public schools, and Arkansas wants the hungriest to have access to more fruits and veggies.

New Mexico's Drinking Water in Crosshairs of Sackett v. EPA

play audio
Play

Tuesday, May 2, 2023   

A favorable ruling in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the federal Clean Water Act could remove protections nationwide, and affect 90% of streams in New Mexico. The high court heard oral arguments last year in Sackett versus the Environmental Protection Agency, with a ruling expected any day. It dates back 14-years when the EPA halted construction on an Idaho home owned by Michael and Chantell Sackett, arguing it jeopardized protected wetlands.

Rachel Conn, deputy director of Taos, N.M.-based Amigos Bravos, said an arid state like New Mexico is in the crosshairs.

"Many of our streams are small and these administrative actions have really focused on stripping away protections from smaller waterways and that's really basically all of our waterways here in New Mexico," Conn said.

If the Supreme Court rules against the EPA, it's estimated the drinking water of one in three people across the country would be at risk.

A study
by the Tulane Institute on Water Resources Law and Policy concluded a favorable ruling for the Sackets could have wide-ranging impacts and leave wetlands management up to states. Conn added that is a problem in New Mexico, which is one of only three states without a surface water quality permitting program - which could leave its wetlands with the fewest protections.

"We may not have many of them, but they do a lot of work to protect our watersheds - they filter out pollution, they help maintain stream flows, they provide wildlife habitat, so they're critically important to the functioning of our watersheds overall," she explained.

In 2019, the EPA released its revised "Waters of the United States" rule to restrict what falls under the purview of the 50-year old Clean Water Act. It was scrapped by the Biden administration a year later, and Conn said New Mexico environmentalists were relieved.

"Up to 96% of our waterways were left unprotected under Trump administration interpretations of previous Supreme Court decisions about this issue," she added.

Conn said indigenous and low-income communities in New Mexico - those who already suffer the most from toxic water pollution - would be especially impacted by a ruling in favor of the Sacketts.

Disclosure: Amigos Bravos contributes to our fund for reporting on Environment, Public Lands/Wilderness, Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
Damage seen on Maui after catastrophic, wind-driven fires swept through the area. (Brea Burkholz/Direct Relief)

Social Issues

play sound

A California group formed after the firestorm that leveled the town of Paradise is stepping up to help Maui recover from its own disaster last month…


Social Issues

play sound

Skills for reducing violence are becoming essential in schools. At the beginning of the school year, students at a Washington state high school …

play sound

The age-old theory that opposites attract has been debunked. According to analysis of more than 130 traits in a study that included millions of …


The New York City Mayor has declared a State of Emergency due to the 113,000 migrants who've arrived since spring of 2022. (pressmaster/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

A new report questions New York City Mayor Eric Adams' latest budget proposal for dealing with the city's influx of over 110,000 migrants. The cost …

Social Issues

play sound

A federal judge has blocked a 2022 Arizona law that voting-rights advocates say would have made it harder for some Native Americans to vote. House …

UAW members are asking for 36% raises in general pay over four years, as well as the return of pension plans for new workers. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Thousands of U.S. auto workers remain on strike, and the walkout is being felt in Minnesota. A rally was scheduled this morning in the Twin Cities …

Environment

play sound

If states like Minnesota are going to meet their climate goals, experts say younger workers will need to step into the roles to make it happen - like …

Health and Wellness

play sound

In rural Arkansas, access to healthcare can be a distant dream - literally - as almost 60 counties in the state do not have enough providers to serve …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021