Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

EPA Plays Pollution Permit Catch-Up in N.M.(New Mexico & Metro)

Byline: Tania Soussan Journal Staff Writer

Backlog Cut From 54% to Under 40%

Federal regulators are catching up on a backlog of permits that regulate how much pollution cities, companies and others can discharge into New Mexico rivers.

The Environmental Protection Agency was criticized by environmental groups this March for a national backlog in issuing permits.

At the time, 54 percent of the major permits in New Mexico had expired. New Mexico was among seven states and the District of Columbia where more than half of all discharge permits for major polluters had expired.

The backlog on major permits in New Mexico now is less than 40 percent, said Jane Watson, chief of the EPA's permitting section in the Dallas regional office, which oversees New Mexico. …

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