TL;DR — VWW strongly opposes FRACKING in Valencia County.
We have a GoFundMe campaign for our FIGHT FRACKING Legal Fund.
Please consider supporting our fundraiser.

Sept. 21, 2022:
What VWW is doing to fight other threats to the aquifer

In May, 2022, At the same time Niagara was requesting to increase their take of water from the Albuquerque Basin aquifer, VWW got involved in another serious fight to protect the aquifer – from FRACKING.

With plenty of “help” from long-time Oil & Gas millionaire Harvey E. Yates, Jr, the Valencia County Commission passed an NROZ ordinance* that makes it very easy for Yates and others to start FRACKING in Valencia County. Mr. Yates and his employees were very involved in writing the NROZ ordinance, which sidesteps many requirements that were in place to protect the county, the people, and the water from unregulated drilling and FRACKING for oil & gas. 

*NROZ ordinance = Natural Resources Overlay Zone ordinance

Why does VWW fight fracking?

FRACKING involves injecting high-pressure water filled with extremely toxic chemicals deep into the earth and setting off underground explosions to fracture the rock layer and release oil & gas from the “Mancos Shale geologic formation.” This is a very dangerous process to perform in the Albuquerque Basin, because the underground layers of rock in the basin are riddled with faults and fractures. 

  • Aquifer Contamination: In many places, the Mancos Shale is often in contact with, or perilously close to, the aquifer. If toxic fracking water gets into a fault or fracture, it can travel directly to the aquifer, contaminating the clean water that sustains almost 1,000,000 people. 
  • Earthquakes: With its underground explosions and high-pressure injection of toxic water deep underground, fracking also causes earthquakes. Geologist Don Phillips says that fracking in Valencia County is 100% certain to result in earthquakes. 
  • Risks to Public Health: Other communities subjected to fracking have experienced documented public health risks, including increases in asthma, premature births, childhood leukemia, and other cancers.

We Valencia Water Watchers completely OPPOSE the possibility of FRACKING in Valencia County – along with many members of the local community; many engineering and science experts in geology, hydrology, public health, water resources; members of front-line communities already harmed by fracking in other parts of New Mexico; and more. 

How can we fight an Oil & Gas millionaire determined to frack in our county?

To effectively fight any applications for an “NROZ” permit (which will lead to FRACKING), we need to work with a lawyer who is: 

  • well-versed in water law, drilling/fracking law, land-use law, and zoning codes
  • conversant with the hydrology/geology of the Albuquerque Basin aquifer, and
  • passionate about protecting the health and well-being of communities.

Lawyers are expensive! We have started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for our FIGHT FRACKING Legal Fund

If you are as passionate as we are about protecting the aquifer (and the people!) from the harmful effects of FRACKING, please consider donating to our fundraiser. Every dollar helps.


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