Having a Superfund site under you city is a pretty big deal. The Environmental Protection Agency and the New Mexico Environment Department have been struggling to clean Española’s Superfund site on the west side for decades. It originates on North Railroad Avenue and flows southward at three different levels.
In an Aug. 27 letter the Agency informed the Department it would not longer fund the site and the state would have to take the lead.
Anyone who cares a little bit about their city, its residents, the Rio Grande or Santa Clara Pueblo needs to pile on the Agency. The maneuvers it is currently executing are alarming.
After the city responded to the Agency’s letter, the Agency and the state felt a meeting was in order. However, it was not a meeting for the public. It was only for the city, Rio Arriba County, the feds and state personnel.
Rio Grande SUN staff writer Molly Montgomery tried to attend the Dec. 18 meeting and was asked several times to leave. She eventually left after attending members said they would not receive the information they needed, if Montgomery remained.
The public must ask, what information? What information is being given to County, pueblo and city leaders that can’t be shared with the rest of the class?
We don’t know. Facts and specifics are hard to come by when we deal with federal agencies.
Telling politicians what’s going on is one thing, informing those directly affected by the lack of cleanup is a much more important matter.
The number of sites nationally fluctuates almost monthly. In summer 2019 there were 1,344 such sites. We are clearly small fry to the Agency, one of a multitude. They don’t care about the poor job they’ve done, the lack of communication, nor their retreat from the scene of the crime.
We reiterate, it’s going to take Santa Clara’s federal voice and some leadership from our federal legislators (God help us) to get this resolved.