March 12, 2015

FCC Releases Net Neutrality Rules -- Santa Fe New Mexican/New York Times

Two weeks after voting to regulate broadband Internet service as a public utility, the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday released 313 pages of rules detailing what would be allowed.

The release of the rules had been eagerly anticipated by advocates and lawmakers, as well as broadband and technology companies. The publication Thursday resulted in few surprises, with the FCC set to decide what is acceptable on a case-by-case basis. The regulations include a subjective catchall provision, requiring “just and reasonable” conduct.

The rules reclassify high-speed Internet as a telecommunications service rather than an information one, subjecting providers to stricter regulation under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. Their aim is to protect the open Internet, advancing principles of so-called net neutrality by prohibiting broadband providers from elevating one kind of content over another. -- 3/12/2015


Groups sue feds to prevent drilling in Chaco region -- Santa Fe New Mexican

A coalition of environmental groups filed a lawsuit against the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Interior Department over the approval of dozens of oil and gas drilling permits in northwestern New Mexico. The activists said more development and hydraulic fracturing could harm the environment and sites such as the Chaco Culture National Historical Park.

The BLM is in the process of updating its management plan for the San Juan Basin in the face of an expected shale oil boom, and the groups have been pushing the agency to stop approving new drilling permits until the plan is in place. -- 3/11/2015


Los Alamos May Face Stricter Runoff Regulations -- KUNM

Should Los Alamos National Labs and Los Alamos County be held to the Clean Water Act standards for stormwater runoff that ends up in the Rio Grande? That’s the question the Environmental Protection Agency is weighing. A public comment period on the matter will begin soon.

Amigos Bravos, a New Mexico organization that works on river water issues, filed a petition with the federal regulator last summer. Rachel Conn, who runs the nonprofit, said they discovered high levels of heavy metals and radioactive contaminants were not coming from toxic industrial sites at LANL but rather from water cascading off of buildings and pavement after storms. -- 3/11/2015