New Mexico proposes changes for dealing with polluters

New Mexico Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn
New Mexico Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – New Mexico regulators are proposing changes to a policy that governs civil penalties levied against certain polluters and how those fines can be used to benefit local communities.

The state Environment Department wants to clarify the decades-old policy to ensure the money goes directly to projects in communities most affected by the pollution.

New Mexico Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn says that didn’t always happen in the past and the proposed changes are meant to keep any of the civil fines from being used for political agendas or pet projects.

The policy was last updated more than a decade ago.

The public will have until June 10 to comment on the proposal.

Between 2011 and 2016, the state approved 21 supplemental environmental projects totaling more than $80 million.

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