Roadrunner Capitol Reports
Legislation Detail

S 109 ENVIRONMENTAL VIOLATION CIVIL PENALTIES

Sen Brenda Grace Agoyothé McKenna

Actions: [4] SCC/SCONC/SJC-SCC API.

Scheduled: Not Scheduled

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Summary:
 Senate Bill 109 (SB 109) amends the New Mexico Mining Act, the Air Quality Control Act, the Hazardous Waste Act, the Water Quality Act and the Solid Waste Act to increase civil penalties for violations, noncompliance and failure to correct for noncompliance to account for inflation. 

The Radioactive and Hazardous Materials Committee requested the introduction of SB 109. 
 
Legislation Overview:
 Senate Bill 109 (SB 109) amends the New Mexico Mining Act, the Air Quality Control Act, the Hazardous Waste Act, the Water Quality Act and the Solid Waste Act to increase civil penalties for violations, noncompliance and failure to correct for noncompliance to account for inflation. Generally the penalties and fines are double the existing amount.  The highest penalty/fine will be fifty thousand dollars ($50,000)/day (failure to correct for non-compliance).

SB 109 amends Section 69-36-17 NMSA 1978  of the New Mexico Mining Act to increase the civil penalties so that the maximum rises from ten thousand ($10,000) to twenty thousand dollars ($20,000)/day.

It amends Sections 74-2-12 and 74-2-12.1 NMSA 1978 of the Air Quality Control Act (AQCA) to increase the maximum penalty arising from a violation of the AQCA, a rule, permit condition, emergency order or compliance order from fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) to thirty thousand dollars ($30,000)/day. In Section 74-2-12.1 NMSA 1978, it increases the penalty for non-compliance of an administrative order, pursuant to a court order, from twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) to fifty thousand dollars ($50,000)/day. 

SB 109 changes the maximum for violation of the Hazardous Waste Act, a rule or a compliance order under the Hazardous Waste Act in Sections 74-4-10 and 74-4-12 NMSA 1978 from ten thousand dollars ($10,000) to twenty thousand dollars ($20,000)/day. It increases the maximum amount the secretary may assess for non-compliance against a violator who refuses to follow the compliance order from twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) to fifty thousand dollars ($50,000)/day. Fines assessed against a person for failure to follow a corrective order after the release of hazardous waste into the environment increase from ten thousand dollars ($10,000) to twenty thousand dollars ($20,000)/day. It increases the civil penalty a court may impose under Sections 74-4-10.1 and  74-4-13 NMSA 1978 for failure to monitor, analysis and test hazardous waste or failure to comply with an order from the secretary when the secretary determines there is an imminent hazard respectively from five thousand dollars ($5,000) to ten thousand dollars ($10,000)/day.

SB 109 increases the civil penalties in Section 74-6-10 NMSA 1978 a constituent agency may assess for violating a requirement, rule or standard under the Water Quality Act (WQA) after a compliance order is issued from fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) to thirty thousand dollars ($30,000)/day. The penalties of other violations of the WQA rise from ten thousand dollars ($10,000) to twenty thousand dollars ($20,000)/day.  It increases penalty for failure to take corrective action in a compliance order from twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) to fifty thousand dollars ($50,000)/day. The changes in the amount of penalties for violation or non-compliance in Section 74-6-10.1 NMSA 1978 also increase from fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) thirty thousand dollars ($30,000)/day and from ten thousand dollars ($10,000) to twenty thousand dollars ($20,000)/day respectively.  In the emergency powers granted by the WQA to constituent agencies in Section 74-6-11 NMSA 1978, the fines increase from five thousand dollars ($5,000) to ten thousand dollars ($10,000)/day. 

SB 109 increases the civil penalties in Section 74-9-36 NMSA 1978 for violation of a compliance order or failure to take corrective action under the Solid Waste Act from five thousand dollars ($5,000) to ten thousand dollars ($10,000)/day and from ten thousand dollars ($10,000) to twenty thousand dollars ($20,000)/day respectively. Fines for failure to follow a compliance order issued after a release of contaminants into the environment increase from five thousand dollars ($5,000) to ten thousand dollars ($10,000)/day.

It makes technical changes throughout these sections.

The Radioactive and Hazardous Materials Committee requested the introduction of SB 109. 

 
Status Quo:
 Fines and penalties under these acts will remain at existing levels without adjustment for inflation.