Three Valencia County Commissioners voted to pass the NROZ ordinance in July, ignoring overwhelming public opposition and expert testimony about the dangers of this ordinance.

Now our county is at risk of being fracked and drilled for oil & gas — especially areas in the southeast county.

Oil & Gas operations — Drilling and Fracking — bring very real risks to all of us:

πŸ›‘ Earthquakes damaging our homes
πŸ›‘ Toxic chemicals contaminating the drinking water aquifer
πŸ›‘ Toxic gasses contaminating the air we breathe
πŸ›‘ Health problems:
Asthma, Premature births, Childhood leukemia and other cancers
πŸ›‘ Explosions & Fires
πŸ›‘ Increased Crime … Traffic … Noise
πŸ›‘ Disrupted Ranching & Farming Operations

FRACKING could be coming to your area!

Do you want drilling rigs in your neighborhood?

What can you do?

When anyone applies for an NROZ (overlay zone) permit, a two-week notice will be published about the Planning & Zoning hearing. After the P&Z hearing, the applicant will go to a County Commission hearing. The P&Z and County Commission hearings happen before permits for the overlay zone can be granted.

  • Be ready to show up at those hearings and make your voice heard!
  • Stay updated on when those hearings are planned: Join our Email List
  • Spread the word to your family, friends, and neighbors.
  • Follow VWW on Instagram and Facebook — we will keep posting important information there.
  • If you can, please donate to our FIGHT FRACKING Legal Fund at GoFundMe.

An “overlay zone” in the county is what allows an oil & gas operation to be set up — for drilling and fracking to begin anywhere in that zone (even if the area is residential or agricultural). The overlay zone goes on top of the existing zone, like a blanket.

VWW is watching this “NROZ permit” situation diligently. We will do our best to keep the community updated and informed about what’s happening.

Our water for our people — for all who call Valencia County home,
and all who rely on the Albuquerque Basin aquifer for their drinking water.






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Citations & Sources

Amir-Heidari, P., Farahani, H., & Ebrahemzadih, M. (2015).
Risk assessment of oil and gas well drilling activities in Iran – a case study: Human factors.
International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics, 21(3), 276–283.

Bell, A. (2017, November 8).
5 major environmental impacts of an offshore oil drilling operation.
Solgate. Retrieved July 7, 2022,

Conant, J., & Fadem, P. (2008).
A community guide to environmental health.
Hesperian Foundation.

Drew Caputo, Vice President of Litigation
for Lands, Wildlife, & Oceans (2022, March 21).
The oil industry’s dishonest effort to wring profits from pain.
Earthjustice. Retrieved July 7, 2022,

Scott, Andrew & Pickard, S. (2021).
FAQ 3: Oil and gas, poverty, the environment and human rights. ODI. (n.d.). Retrieved July 7, 2022,

Johnston, J. E., Lim, E., & Roh, H. (2019).
Impact of upstream oil extraction and
Environmental Public Health: A review of the evidence.
Science of The Total Environment, 657, 187–199.

Komarek, T. M. (2018).
Crime and natural resource booms:
Evidence from unconventional natural gas production.
The Annals of Regional Science, 61(1), 113–137.

Konkel, L. (2016).
Salting the Earth:
The environmental impact of oil and gas wastewater spills.
Environmental Health Perspectives, 124(12).

Oil and gas: An industry in decline.
Environmental Working Group. (2022, May 17).
Retrieved July 7, 2022,

PricewaterhouseCoopers. (n.d.).
Oil & Gas Sector Volatility continues.
PwC. Retrieved July 7, 2022,

Thomson Reuters. (2010, April 22).
Analyst says U.S. gas drilling pace unsustainable.
Reuters. Retrieved July 7, 2022,

U.S. Energy Information Administration – EIA – independent statistics and analysis.
Oil and the environment – U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). (n.d.).
Retrieved July 7, 2022,