Meetings canceled as New Mexico agency stretches resources

New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A panel that oversees water quality and permitting issues across New Mexico has been forced to cancel another meeting.

The reason is the state Environment Department doesn’t have the staff needed to organize meetings for the boards and commissions under its umbrella.

That means it could be September before the Water Quality Control Commission meets again, putting on hold decisions about everything from lower financing rates for rural water projects to enforcement actions against polluters.

New Mexico Environment Secretary James Kenney says years of austere budgeting have left his agency in a “deep hole” with few resources in the face of more responsibility.

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