A Call to Residents of Sandoval County

Laura Robbins

SANDOVAL COUNTY OIL AND GAS ORDINANCE CITIZENS’ STUDY GROUP

This is a reminder about action to be taken by the Sandoval County Commission. The Commission is about to vote on an extremely permissive Oil and Gas Ordinance that could radically affect the quality of our lives as well as property values in a large part of Sandoval County.

Here’s how the Commission plans to make it easy for oil and gas companies to drill near your home or ranch or farm:

  • NO public notice
  • NO public hearing

Your wakeup call will occur when the company starts drilling next to your home.

Sounds unbelievable?

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Sandoval P & Z Commission Sides With Big Oil and Gas Over County Residents

Miya King-Flaherty,

Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter Public Lands Fellow

Vote recommends ordinance that would allow drilling without public notice or groundwater monitoring

Late Tuesday night, the Sandoval County Planning and Zoning Commission voted 3-2 to recommend an oil and gas ordinance that would bypass citizens’ input and endanger drinking water for families in Sandoval County and elsewhere.

Commissioner Dan Stoddard’s ordinance, recommended Tuesday with few changes by the P and Z Commission, would give county staff sole authority to approve or deny drilling applications.“Staff could allow oil and gas drilling without public notice, hearings or a vote by the county commission,” Rio Grande Sierra Club Public Lands Fellow Miya King-Flaherty said.

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See Who’s Hiring in Sandoval County

Employers with the most job openings:

Click on the name of the organization for more information.

Convergys: 140
Bank of America: 70
Alliance Data: 24
Rio Rancho Public Schools: 23
Amfabsteel: 18 (email resume)
PCM: 18
UNM Sandoval Regional Medical Center: 12
City of Rio Rancho: 8
Phat Steel: 6 (email resume)
Hyatt: 5

 

To read the rest of the monthly newsletter from the Sandoval Economic Alliance, click Continue Reading.

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Sandoval County Gained $1.6 Billion in Wealth Between 1992 and 2015

By Tiffany Avery, Director of Marketing & Communications

SANDOVAL ECONOMIC ALLIANCE

Sandoval County gained $1.6 billion in adjusted gross income (AGI) from 1992-2015, making it one of only two counties in New Mexico to increase in wealth during that time, according to the US Census Bureau and the IRS Division of Statistics. Of the $1.6 billion, most came from neighboring communities: $566 million from Bernalillo County, $85 million from Santa Fe County, and $26 million from Los Alamos County. An additional $65 million moved to Sandoval from California: $44 million from Los Angeles County and $21 million from Orange County.

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Brick Laying Ceremony for the Jemez Place Subdivision Demonstration House

By Tiffany Avery

Director of Marketing & Communications, SANDOVAL ECONOMIC ALLIANCE

Jemez Pueblo leadership, in collaboration with the Jemez Community Development Corporation, will hold a block laying ceremony for the new Pueblo of Jemez Self-Help Demonstration House that will be the first home built within the newly completed Pueblo Place subdivision.

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 No Buses and Rail Runner on Sunday Schedule for July 4th Holiday

Auguste Meyers

RIO METRO

Rio Metro buses or connecting bus or shuttle service will not be running on Independence Day and  the New Mexico Rail Runner Express will run on a Sunday schedule on Tuesday, July 4th this year.

The Holiday Train Schedule can be found at www.nmrailrunner.com

Rio Metro Customer Service Representatives will be available by phone at 866-795-7245 and 505-245-RAIL (7245) from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Tuesday, July 4th.

Contact: Augusta Meyers, MRCOG Communications Mgr. (505) 239-8612, ameyers@mrcog-nm.gov

Jemez Fire Slowing but Extent of Blaze Increased to 1,315 Acres     

By R.W.

Photo R.W.

Most of the blaze so far has affected lower level growth, just as in the Pino fire of 2014, shown above, and not been a high intensity crown-top fire.

 

It is still early to tell, but the El Cajete Fire seems to have run into a dead end with burn scars around it, not that much new fuel to feed on and is showing first signs of slowing down.  If the wind does not change direction and pick up too much, the acreage that is currently ablaze might mark most of the extent of this fire.

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El Cajete Fire Continues to Burn

By R.W.

Photo R.W.

The wind has changed direction from overnight, but otherwise no notable improvements in the behavior of the El Cajete Fire has been observed, with 0 percent of the over 700 acre blaze contained. The good news is that no human casualties or damage to property have been reported, with firefighters taking measures to save structures in the path of the flames. They have been conducting back burns between the fire and people’s homes to create protection zones.

Air temperatures are high, and humidity levels low; forecasts call for these conditions to continue into the foreseeable future, leaving no option but “full suppression” for the fire on part of the firefighting crews. The fire continue to head in a southeasterly direction, just as it was yesterday. Also, just as through most of the day yesterday, NM Highway 4 remains closed from its intersection with  NM Highway 126, above which, on the stretch leading to Valle Grande, the worst fire conditions are occurring.

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Forest Fire in the Jemez, Highway 4 Closed, Evacuations Taking Place

Update: Julie Anne Overton of the Santa Fe National Forest reports that the Cajete Fire is spreading fast and had reached 600 acres by 6 p.m. About 300 structures, mostly homes, are at risk. The blaze is still about 20 miles from Los Alamos, but burn scars from previous fires in the area may keep it from hitting the city.

 Communities along N.M. 4 are still being evacuated, including Los Griegos, Sierra los Pinos and Ruby Hole. Visitors and employees of the Valles Caldera National Preserve west of Los Alamos were also being evacuated.

State Police have closed N.M. 4 between N.M. 126 and  N.M. 501 and it is expected to remain closed through the night.

This map courtesy of . The moving east surrounded by old burn scars but, there is still timber to feed on.

Smoke was first reported to Santa Fe Dispatch at 10:47 a.m. So far the fire, now called the Cajete Fire, is 0 percent contained, estimated at 100 acres, spreading  fast and moving to the east with high growth potential affecting mostly ponderosa pine with some mixed conifer and aspen on the north slopes.

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Hikers Lost in the Jemez

Update 9:25 p.m.: Bernalillo County Sheriffs Office says its Air Unit assisted the Sandoval County Sheriff’s Office with locating 3 stranded hikers in the forest area near Jemez, it was originally believed one person may have died. They made no confirmation of this; their announcement so far carried no details of the hikers’ condition.

As of 8:20 p.m. there have been no updates on this story in any New Mexico publications. This story  is confusing since Sandoval County Sheriff’s Departament is also reported to have been conducting a similar search near Mount Taylor for three hikers, one of whom is reported to have died. Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) issued this statement, presumably referring to the situation in the Jemez:

BCSO Metro Air Unit will be launching in reference to a search and rescue call for Sandoval County. Five people are stranded. One person had a heart attack and the others may be suffering from dehydration. BCSO will assist fire and rescue in locating the subjects and shuttling personnel.

 

A rescue operation is going on somewhere in the Jemez, where five hikers are reported to be lost. The report is very unclear, and says that they are lost near Jemez Pueblo, but this could mean somewhere in the mountains near the reservation. One of the hikers is reported to have suffered a heart attack, which implies that the sheriff’s deputies conducting the search have contact with the group, but are unable to locate them.

A sheriff’s office helicopter shuttling rescue personnel to and from the area may be visible over the valley.