Dear friends: The City of Albuquerque, Environmental Health Department has withdrawn its motion to request that three of the ABQ, Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board members to recuse themselves from considering our appeal of the air permit issued to New Mexico Terminal Services for the hot mix asphalt batch plant that is the subject of this petition. The arguments on this motion were to be presented at the July 14 Air Board meeting. That item on the agenda has now been canceled. Stay tuned for news on the next hearing on this matter before the Air Quality Control Board.
To: Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board, City of Albuquerque Environmental Health Department, Bernalillo County Commissioners, Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller and Commissioner Michael Quezada
Stop the Asphalt Assault in the Mountain View Neighborhood
We hereby urge the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board, City of Albuquerque Environmental Health Department, Bernalillo County Commissioners, Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller and Commissioner Michael Quezada to REVERSE the AIR POLLUTION PERMIT granted by EHD on October 26, 2020, to New Mexico Terminal Services (NMTS) for the construction and operation of a Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) Batch Plant at 9615 Broadway SE.
Why is this important?
No to Another Polluting Industry in the Mountain View Neighborhood!
No to the New Mexico Terminal Services’ Asphalt Plant!
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We, the residents of Mountain View and our allies and supporters, believe the New Mexico Terminal Services (NMTS) Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) batch plant would further negatively impact the health of community members because the air pollution permit allows NMTS to release significant amounts of air pollution into the Mountain View community, which is already host to a large number of toxic and hazardous industries. “The Environment is where we live.”
The Threat—Widespread destruction of the environment and our community
On October 26, 2020, the City of Albuquerque Environmental Health Department approved Air Quality Application Permit #3340—New Mexico Terminal Services, LLC—new construction for a 400 tph Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) Plant, and a 133 tph Aggregate Railcar Unloading Terminal, located on a 61+ acre tract at 9615 Broadway Blvd. SE. The property is currently zoned Agricultural (A-1) "Agricultural Use" and is not zoned for "Industrial Use" (M-2).
The Mountain View community is consistently inflicted with toxic and hazardous pollution from High Industrial Businesses, which includes: Emissions / fumes of carbon Monoxide (CO), Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC), Sulfur Oxides (SOx), Total Suspended Particulate (TSP), Particulate Matter < 10 Microns (PM-10), Particulate Matter < 2.5 Microns (PM-2.5), and Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAP).
The entirety of the cumulative pollution problem is concerning in the Mountain View area.
The Community Who is Threatened:
Mountain View is a residential and agricultural community located between the Rio Grande and I-25 south of Rio Bravo in southeast Albuquerque. It has consistently been invaded by polluting industries through policies of the City of Albuquerque and the County of Bernalillo. Our community is largely Spanish-speaking, low-income, and working class. Mountain View has been defined as a vulnerable environmental justice community by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). For several decades we have lived with the disproportionate burden of polluting industries compared to other more affluent neighborhoods. Mountain View is a predominantly “Hispanic” community of color. Many residents self-refer to themselves as Chicano or Mexicano.
Our community is already disproportionately overburdened with polluting and toxic industries. We, the residents of Mountain View, and our supporters are concerned this NMTS hot mix asphalt batch plant may further negatively impact the health of our community members, because studies have shown that asphalt plants in general have significant health impacts. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) impact our health, and recent studies are finding many of these contribute to a growing pandemic of disease including Parkinson’s. We recognize that the continued, ongoing targeting of our low-income community of color with polluting industries by elected officials and regulatory agencies is a glaring example of environmental racism, and we will name it.
The ABQ / Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board is holding a dispositive hearing, likely in late summer this year, that may include opportunities for public comment. We expect that the hearing will be held over Zoom due to COVID-19 safety precautions. Attorneys from the New Mexico Environmental Law Center are representing the co-petitioners: Mountain View Neighborhood Association, Mountain View Community Action, and Friends of Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge. More information about the hearing will be shared as it becomes available.
What the Community is Asking For:
We respectfully request the ABQ/Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board to reverse the air permit that the Environmental Health Department issued for NMTS to build and operate a hot mix asphalt batch plant in Mountain View. We also want the City of Albuquerque to cease approving all permits for polluting industry in our already-overburdened neighborhood in Mountain View and to declare a moratorium on such permits.
More information Contact:
Nora Garcia, President of Mountain View Neighborhood Association, (505) 414-1621
Marla Painter, President, Mountain View Community Action, (505) 220-3969
Aryn LaBrake, Executive Director, Friends of Valle de Oro, (505) 750-3383
Photo by: Gabriela Campos
How it will be delivered
The petition will be delivered and used at several hearings on this action. (The July 14th hearing on recusal motions has been cancelled because EHD withdrew their motions as of Friday, July 9.) We expect that the first hearing will be held in September at the Air Quality Control Board Meeting. We invite our community to come to this public hearing to express their concerns. We will email everyone who signs this petition updated information on how to attend.