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New Mexico proposal seeking environmental reviews stalls

February 22, 2019

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Business and city leaders, energy companies, electric utilities, farmers and others are all voicing concerns about proposed legislation in New Mexico that would require sweeping environmental reviews by state agencies for many projects.

The bill, known as the Environmental Review Act, stalled in a House committee Friday as some lawmakers sought more information.

The bill was initially drafted by an attorney for the conservation organization New Mexico Wilderness Alliance and has undergone numerous changes.

Supporters say it would create a state framework similar to what the federal government has for reviewing proposed activities on lands it manages.

Opponents say existing laws and permitting requirements already address environmental protections and adding another layer would stifle economic development in New Mexico.

State agencies also have said they would need more money and staff to implement such a proposal.

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