DEAR FRIENDS OF NM'S WATERS ~
The United States Environmental Protection Agency just released draft regulations defining what constitutes "Waters of the United States." The new rule could greatly improve water quality protection in New Mexico by restoring protection for many of the waters that lost protection under Bush Administration Supreme Court decisions. This rule will be attacked by many industry groups. Fox News has already come out against the rule. We need your help to show Senators Udall and Heinrich and the Obama Administration that there is public support for this rule and for clean water! Stay tuned for Action-Alerts from Amigos Bravos on this issue.
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The Amigos Bravos April "Water Matters" Lecture is scheduled for Tuesday, April 15, at 5:30pm at the Santa Fe Community Foundation and will feature Reverend Martha Quintana, speaking about "Water, Spirituality, & Social Justice."
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Draft recommendations for the Triennial Review of Water Quality Standards, which will determine the standards for water quality in New Mexico, for the next three years, were just released. Concerned citizens have until April 30 to comment. For more information, scroll down!
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JOIN AMIGOS BRAVOS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, BRIAN SHIELDS, FOR A SPECTACULAR FLOAT TRIP DOWN THE WILD AND SCENIC RIO CHAMA
Brian Shields has secured a launch date for July 11, 2014, for a 3-Day raft trip on the Rio Chama to raise funds for Amigos Bravos - and you are invited to join him. The trip will be outfitted by Los Rios River Runners and is designed to provide the maximum amount of comfort, including walk-in tents with cots and rugs, dining at a banquet table next to the river, and outrageous storytelling by Cisco Guevara, the owner of the rafting company and an Amigos Bravos board member. Please join us for three days of fun in one of New Mexico's most beautiful river canyons, and one of Georgia
| Rio Chama, side canyon|
O'Keefe's favorite painting areas. The cost of the trip is $1,500 per person. We have 3 spaces left, so best to act soon! Reservations will be taken on a first come basis and require a $100 deposit. Call 575-758-3874, leave a message for Brian Shields, and send your deposit to: Amigos Bravos, PO Box 238, Taos, NM 87571.
AMIGOS BRAVOS APRIL "WATER MATTERS" LECTURE: REVEREND MARTHA QUINTANA
WATER, SPIRITUALITY, & SOCIAL JUSTICE
On the evening of Tuesday, April 15, at 5:30pm, at the Santa Fe Community Foundation, the Amigos Bravos "Water Matters" lecture will feature Reverend Martha Quintana, speaking about "Water, Social Justice, & Spirituality." The "Water Matters" Lectures are held on the third Tuesday of every month at 5:30pm, are free to our members and the public, and feature some of the most knowledgeable and dynamic speakers in the region, including writers, scientists, poets, environmental activists, and scholars.
"Life, like water, is a precious resource and all social activists intuitively know this," says Rev. Quintana. Quintana worked in labor relations for 25 years as a trade unionist, activist, and finally as a federal government investigator. In 2009, she became the full-time minister of a spiritual philosophy for thinking people at the Rio Grande Center for Spiritual Living, in Albuquerque. Her ministry routinely attracts over 150 people on Sundays. Among other topics, Rev. Quintana will speak about working on behalf of water and social justice, without burning out.
The Santa Fe Community Foundation is located between Old Santa Fe Trail and Acequia Madre, at the corner of Paseo de Peralta and Halona. For more information, call 575-758-3874.
2014 NEW MEXICO TRIENNIAL REVIEW OF WATER QUALITY STANDARDS
All of New Mexico's communities - whether human, plant, or animal - are dependent on limited sources of water. Water is the most important natural resource in the state. The Federal Clean Water Act requires that states hold a
Triennial Review at least every 1-3 years to review and modify their Surface Water Quality Standards. Water Quality Standards are the foundation for protection of human and environmental health from water contamination. Without strong standards to set appropriate water quality levels, efforts to protect community health or attempts to stop pollution have nothing to stand on. To protect and restore water quality, it is essential to have robust standards.
Amigos Bravos has participated as the lone environmental justice voice in New Mexico's Triennial Review process since 1998. The Triennial Review is the public's best opportunity to comment on and influence the state's water quality standards. Given the current decision-making landscape in New Mexico, the 2014 Triennial Review could see a large scale attempt to weaken water quality standards. Amigos Bravos intends to present the strongest technical and grassroots community-focused response possible to counter anti-conservation proposals, advocate for robust water quality standards, and expand public awareness, knowledge, and involvement in the review process.
The NM Water Quality Act (NMWQA) directs the Water Quality Control Commission to adopt standards that "shall at a minimum protect the public health or welfare, enhance the quality of water and serve the purposes of the
NMWQA." Amigos Bravos' comments include a request for the Commission to consider the future, long reaching effects of climate change on New Mexico's waters. Climate change will result in changed precipitation patterns, an altered hydrologic cycle, a likely decrease in water supply, and will add another pressure to already over-allocated water resources in the state. The WQCC must address how best to protect our scarce water resources in the face of these changes.
Amigos Bravos will also counter the detrimental proposals that are being put forth: allowing weaker site-specific metal standards; downgrading water quality standards in the Rio Grande as it flows through NM's second largest city (Las Cruces) to levels not protective of swimming; severely curtailing the number of waters that can be protected at the Federal Clean Water Act's highest level; and, eliminating standards for waters that flow seasonally (and thus sustain wildlife). The weakening of PCB standards, set for protection of human health, is also of concern. PCBs have been shown to cause cancer.
Amigos Bravos predicts this will be the most difficult Triennial Review we have faced as an organization. Your help is needed. Please watch for the Amigos Bravos Action Alert email that will be headed your way soon, with information and specific suggestions for comments, or email Projects Director, Rachel Conn at firstname.lastname@example.org, with your questions. For more information, you can also go to the New Mexico Environment Department's website at www.nmen.state.nm.us.
Comments are due no later than 5pm on Wednesday, April 30, 2014, and should be sent to:
Kristine Pintado, Water Quality Standards Coordinator
Surface Water Quality Bureau
POB 5469, Santa Fe, NM, 87502
AMIGOS BRAVOS IS CELEBRATING
26 YEARS OF PROTECTING & RESTORING NEW MEXICO'S WATERS
Please celebrate with us and help to make sure Amigos Bravos remains strong for the
THANK YOU FOR YOUR ENTHUSIASTIC SUPPORT OF AMIGOS BRAVOS AND NEW MEXICO'S RIVERS & WATERWAYS!!!