New Mexico regulators make emissions sweep in Permian Basin

April 25, 2019 GMT

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico regulators are looking to crack down on air quality violations by energy companies operating in one of the nation’s most productive oil and gas basins.

The state environment department announced Wednesday that its staff recently conducted nearly 100 inspections across New Mexico’s portion of the Permian Basin. They were checking compliance with air quality regulations and permits.

Agency spokeswoman Maddy Hayden says it will take the department at least several weeks — and possibly months — to review and determine what enforcement cases should be pursued.


The inspectors used infrared cameras to detect emissions that are invisible to the naked eye.

State officials are targeting methane emissions from the oil and gas industry as part of an executive order issued by Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham in January.