A group of residents, led by the former president of the Navajo Chapter in Counselor, New Mexico, are suing the state for failing to prevent their neighbors and other New Mexico residents from suffering from oil and methane gas pollution. About 7 percent of New Mexico’s population live or attend a school or daycare within a half-mile radius of an oil and gas production site. In response, the New Mexico Land Commissioner issued an executive order that stops all new oil and gas leases on state trust land within a mile of schools or other places of education, including daycares, preschools and sports facilities used by students.
The order also calls for the state to review the existing oil and gas leases on state trust land that are near schools and homes to understand whether they are complying with existing state regulations. Nearly 120 schools could be within one mile of oil and gas sites on federal, state, Tribal, and private lands in the state. (AP, Albuquerque Journal $)