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Non-Local News Releases

This category will feature news releases from out-of-area government agencies and representatives, as well as events that are not taking place in the four-county area of Grant, Catron, Hidalgo or Luna. For those events please visit Local News Releases.

Santa Fe, NM – A rule allowing the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resource Department’s (EMNRD) Oil Conservation Division (OCD) to assess administrative civil penalties for violations of New Mexico’s Oil and Gas Act is now in effect. This is the first time in 11 years the OCD will be able to issue administrative penalties for rule violations.

On January 1, 2020 a portion of House Bill 546 (HB 546) went into effect, allowing the OCD to assess administrative civil penalties for violations of New Mexico’s Oil and Gas Act. The Act directed the Division to undergo rulemaking to outline the process and the final order was signed by the Oil Conservation Commission on January 16. Today the rule went into effect upon its publication in the New Mexico Register.

Penalties may be assessed at $2,500 per day for each violation, with a higher cap of $10,000 per day for a violation that poses a risk to health or safety of the public or of causing significant environmental harm. Penalties issued by the OCD are capped at $200,000 per violation. A penalty in excess of $200,000 must be issued by a court.

2019 Economic Impact Study Shows Benefits to New Mexico Visitor Industry as well as State and Local Tax Base

ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO- New Mexico’s largest visitor event, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, today announced results of a third-party economic impact study.

The 2019 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta generated $186.82 million of total economic impact for businesses in the Albuquerque metropolitan area. The nine-day event  attracted an estimated 866,414 guest visits with an estimated 71 percent of its visitors traveling from outside of New Mexico. Of the estimated $186.82 million of total economic impact, direct spending by Balloon Fiesta guests at local businesses is estimated to be $109.89 million.  The Balloon Fiesta commissioned Forward Analytics to conduct the 2019 economic impact survey.

SANTA FE, N.M. – Amber Dodson, the City of Albuquerque’s Film Liaison, has been named the new Director of the New Mexico Film Office, Economic Development Department Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes announced today.

Dodson will assume the position on March 9.

Dodson has over 20 years of professional experience in the entertainment, media and tech industries, both in the private and public sectors.

Since being appointed as Film Liaison by Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller, the Albuquerque Film Office has seen record-breaking growth in film and television production. In the past year, the city issued a record 448 film permits in 2019 and ushered in work from the new Netflix and NBCUniversal Albuquerque studios.

(Washington, D.C, February 25, 2020) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced the appointment of Paul Kiecker to serve as Administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Mr. Kiecker will be assuming the role following the departure of Administrator Carmen Rottenberg, who is departing federal service after a career spanning two decades.

“Ensuring the safety of America’s food supply is USDA’s most important responsibility, and one that Carmen carried out with dedication and vision. I know she will continue her passion for food safety in the private sector,” said Secretary Perdue. “Carmen is a true public servant and ushered in an era of modernization at the Food Safety and Inspection Service. This mission and drive will continue and advance with Paul Kiecker in his new leadership role. USDA’s food safety team is the best in the world and works tirelessly to safeguard the food we serve our families every single day.”

WASHINGTON, Feb. 25, 2020 – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that, effective immediately, U.S. wheat may now be shipped to Kenya regardless of state of origin or port of export. This important step will allow U.S. wheat from Idaho, Oregon, and Washington to be added to the list of states that can ship wheat to Kenya.

“American farmers in the Pacific Northwest now have full access to the Kenyan wheat market,” said Greg Ibach, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs. “This action proves our commitment to securing fair treatment and greater access for U.S. products in the global marketplace.”

For the last 12 years, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has worked closely with Kenyan officials to address plant health concerns that kept U.S. wheat exports from Idaho, Oregon, and Washington out of Kenya.

WASHINGTON, February 25, 2020 – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced today that China has taken numerous actions to begin implementing its agriculture-related commitments under the landmark U.S.-China Phase One Economic and Trade Agreement on schedule. The agreement entered into force on February 14, 2020.

These actions include:

Santa Fe, NM - On February 22, 2020 at approximately 3:00 p.m., the New Mexico State Police investigated a fatal crash on Interstate 25 at about mile post 264 south of Santa Fe, New Mexico.  

The initial investigation indicated a 1998 Toyota was traveling south on Interstate 25. For reasons still under investigation, the driver of the vehicle left roadway and rolled. The driver, Alicia Montoya (42) of Ribera, NM was ejected and sustained fatal injuries in the crash. Montoya was pronounced deceased by the Office of the Medical Investigator.

Officers located alcohol and narcotics in the vehicle. The sobriety of Montoya is unknown at this time and is pending the results of a toxicology report.

Seatbelts do not appear to have been properly utilized. No additional information is available at this time. 

TAOS — On Feb. 19, 2020, the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) denied the renewal of a groundwater discharge permit in Taos due to the permittee’s documented history of permit noncompliance.

S&R Septic sought renewal of its permit, which would have allowed for the continued discharge of domestic septage and other types of waste through land application. The S&R Septic property is located approximately three miles northwest of Taos on the north side of Highway 64, in Taos County. NMED held a public hearing on the permit renewal application on Oct. 16 and 21, 2019 in Taos.

After review of the administrative record, the applicant’s compliance history, and comments from the public and parties involved, NMED Cabinet Secretary James Kenney denied the permit on pursuant to NMED’s powers under the New Mexico Water Quality Act.

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Editor's Note

New classified for Silver City church seeking office manager.

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