AG Balderas Secures Major Environmental Victory Over Trump EPA
Albuquerque, NM – On Tuesday, Attorney General Hector Balderas announced a major environmental victory over the Trump Administration’s Environmental Protection Agency. A federal court in California ruled that EPA failed to perform mandatory duties to implement its own 2016 rules for reducing methane emissions from municipal landfills. New Mexico submitted its plan to enforce the rule prior to the May 2017 compliance deadline, but EPA failed to act – refusing to take required actions to implement the rule.
“My office will always fight to protect New Mexican families from a dangerous Environmental Protection Agency that has failed to uphold its duties time and time again,” said Attorney General Hector Balderas. “Today’s decision is a step in the right direction for clean air for future generations of New Mexicans.”
The EPA has wasted significant resources in multiple attempts to evade its responsibilities and to escape judicial review. On May 6, the court ruled that the EPA must approve or disapprove New Mexico’s and other states’ plans by September 6, 2019, and issue a federal plan for states without a plan by November 6, 2019. The EPA determined in 2016 that guidelines, once implemented, will reduce methane emissions – a potent greenhouse gas — by the equivalent of 7.3 million tons of CO2, as much as 1.5 million cars, yielding a net benefit to society of $380 — $480 million per year. The court’s decision will help make these reductions a reality.