Dozens show up to Sandoval Co. meeting to protest oil and gas ordinance

SANDOVAL COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) – Outraged community members are making sure the Sandoval County Commission hears their concerns about the controversial oil and gas ordinance.

The commission did not end up making a final decision Thursday about how companies can drill for oil in the county.

This comes after people were claiming the county doesn’t care about their health. Thursday, there was a news conference where concerned community members expressed their opposition.

Back in September, commissioners voted 4-1 to publish the ordinance outlining where and how companies can drill for oil within the county.

That caused a lot of backlash from the community because people don’t think the regulations protect against water contamination and pollution. In addition, people didn’t feel like they had a chance to voice their concerns.

“It does not allow for public input, and it does not have a lot of the protections that we need for our water, air, health and safety,” Elaine Cimino said.

The group was hoping to stop a final vote on the ordinance. They want the commissioners to allow more public input and in a larger venue so everyone who wants to speak gets a chance.

The Sandoval County Commission Chambers are only built to hold 100. Opponents said they were advised that once the chamber was full, the doors would be locked.

At a public meeting Thursday night, commissioners decided not to take up the issue, saying they will talk about it November 14.

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