Rep. Garcia Richard Adds Clean Water Act Provision To Stream Bed Bill

Rep. Garcia Richard

STATE News:

SANTA FE – The New Mexico House of Representatives met Saturday to consider House Bill 235, a bill that sought to clarify the jurisdiction of stream beds on private land.

Responding to concerns that the bill could leave unclear the determination of waterways and stream beds for purposes of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA), Rep. Garcia Richard, D-Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Sandoval and Rio Arriba, moved an amendment to ensure compliance between HB 235 and the federal CWA, which seeks to protect waterways from pollutants.

The amendment was adopted by a unanimous vote.

“I was pleased that the bill sponsor was willing to accept my amendment,” Garcia Richard said. “It is imperative that nothing we do at the state level jeopardize such a fundamental protection to our clean water and environment as the Clean Water Act. I was glad that the body adopted the amendment in a bipartisan manner.”

Political Director of Conservation Voters of New Mexico Victor Reyes said. “Our states, rivers and streams are too important to put in harm’s way. We are grateful that Rep. Garcia Richard took steps to ensure that this bill will not undermine and confuse settled federal common law, statutes and precedent regarding water quality protection pursuant to the Clean Water Act.”

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