Camino Real Decision Shows New Mexico is Open For…Out of State Trash?

By Tracy Dingmann

Environmental groups and residents of Sunland Park, N.M. were swift to express their keen disappointment today at the state of New Mexico’s decision to grant the Camino Real landfill a 10-year permit.

Residents of Sunland Park have long said they don’t want the landfill in their midst and say they are worried about known and unknown factors affecting their health and quality of life. The landfill sits atop one of the largest aquifers in the Southwest and is suspected of affecting the purity of the drinking water it provides.

“We are extremely disappointed that Governor Martinez and Secretary-designate Martin chose to side with corporate polluters instead of protecting families in Sunland Park,” said Michael Casaus, a senior field organizing manager with the Sierra Club. “Elected officials should step up their efforts to protect New Mexico’s precious clean water supplies, instead of increasing profits for out-of-state corporations.

“Over 90 percent of the waste that ends up in this landfill comes from outside New Mexico, primarily from Texas. This ruling sends a clear message that not only is New Mexico open to business, as Governor Martinez proclaimed in her recent State of State Address, but is apparently open to out-of-state trash as well,” said Casaus.

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Decision on Sunland Park Landfill Imminent

By Tracy Dingmann

What’s going on these days in Sunland Park, N.M., home to the controversial Camino Real landfill/environmental park?

Last time we wrote, New Mexico Environment Department Secretary Ron Curry was scheduled to decide by Nov. 10 whether to grant the sprawling landfill a 10-year extension.

But earlier this month Curry announced that he would give himself up through Dec. 1 to issue a decision (that’s tomorrow.)

The Camino Real landfill (its owners call it an “environmental park”) sits near one of the largest aquifers in the Southwest and takes in 90 percent of its trash from Mexican maquiladoras and the nearby city of El Paso.

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