Court sides with NM regulators over copper rule

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – The New Mexico Court of Appeals has rejected efforts by the state attorney general, environmentalists and a ranch owned by billionaire mogul Ted Turner to put on hold regulations that govern groundwater pollution by copper mines.

Attorney General Gary King and the others filed an appeal last fall to challenge the new regulations and sought to put them on hold pending the appeal.

The court says King and the others failed to show there would be irreparable harm if the copper rule is enacted while the appeal is heard.

The court also questioned the appellants’ likelihood of success on the merits of the case.

State regulators have defended the copper rule.

King, water watchdog groups and Turner’s ranch contend the regulations give mining companies too much leeway to pollute groundwater.

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