April 9, 2015

Gov. Susana Martinez signs bill to ban e-cigarette sales to minorsLas Cruces Sun News

Gov. Susana Martinez has signed legislation banning the sales of e-cigarettes and nicotine liquid containers to minors in New Mexico.  Sen. John Ryan's bill also requires those containers to be sold in child resistant packaging and prohibits online sales to minors. He says nicotine is "addictive and harmful" and can be the "gateway to a lifelong addiction."

Martinez signed Senate Bill 433 Wednesday. The Public Education Department has to revise its tobacco, alcohol, and drug free school districts rule to include the products by Aug. 1. – 4/9/15


Project Wildfire: Homeland Security Investigations arrest gang members in El Paso regionEl Paso Times

Fifteen gang members and associates were arrested in El Paso recently as part of nearly 1,000 arrests in a national gang crackdown by U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations, officials said Wednesday.

The arrests were part of Project Wildfire, a "surge operation" lead by HSI in 282 cities, including El Paso, Albuquerque and Las Cruces.

ICE officials said that a total of 116 people were arrested on a variety of criminal charges in the El Paso region, including 53 in Albuquerque, 10 in Las Cruces and 38 in Alpine, Texas. The operation ran from Feb. 23 to March 31. – 4/9/15


Agreement Reached By New Mexico Dairy Industry, Environmental Advocates -- Fronteras

New Mexico's dairy industry may soon have a revised set of rules that both farmers and environmental advocates can agree on.

The agreement reached between representatives for the dairy industry, environmental groups and state officials was presented at a public hearing in Roswell, New Mexico, on Monday. The hearing, which was scheduled to go on for five days, lasted less than six hours.

"It happened very quickly," said Dal Moellenberg, an attorney representing the dairies. "It was a little bit of a surprise to all of us, but we're very happy that we were able to reach an agreement."

At issue is a set of rules enacted in 2011 that deal primarily with how dairies manage wastewater and monitor groundwater. The industry appealed the current set of rules calling them overly burdensome and costly. Environmental groups, such as the Sierra Club, contend the rules are in place to prevent groundwater contamination. Six years ago the state environment department found that more than 50 percent of dairies in New Mexico were leeching high levels of nitrates.  – 4/7/2015.