For Immediate Release:
October 26, 2022
Contact: Jerri Mares – (505) 321-4372
SANTA FE — Today, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas announced a nearly $4.3 million grant program to address harms in the northwest region of New Mexico as a result of the Gold King Mine Spill, including harms based on public perception of the impacts of the spill. Under the grant program, the NM Office of the Attorney General (NMOAG) has posted a request for proposal (RFP) from New Mexico government agencies, all political subdivisions (counties, municipalities, and special districts), non-profit organizations, and tribal governments.
“We were forced to sue the federal government and bad actors in response to one of the worst environmental disasters in New Mexico, and I am hopeful that these recovery dollars will positively help our tribal and rural communities,” said Attorney General Balderas.
Projects are expected to benefit farming, outdoor recreation, natural resources, or other values in northwestern New Mexico. More specifically, eligible projects could provide for:
- Drinking water protection
- Control or mitigation of pollution sources
- Land and habitat conservation
- Economic development related to agriculture, outdoor recreation, or mining reclamation
- Public education regarding the safety of regional agricultural products
In 2021, New Mexico reached an $11 million settlement with the mining company defendants, Sunnyside Gold Corporation, Kinross Gold Corporation and Kinross Gold U.S.A., Inc., for their contributions to the Gold King blowout. Combined with the $32 million final settlement with the United States and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in June 2022, the State has thus obtained $43 million towards making New Mexico whole.
New Mexico continues to aggressively pursue relief for damages from Weston Solutions, Inc. and Environmental Restoration, LLC, the federal contractors who contributed to the cause of the blowout and are still defendants in the State’s lawsuit.
For more information and to access the request for proposal, please visit the NMOAG website at https://www.nmag.gov/resources/requests-for-proposals-contracts/.
A copy of the Request for Proposal (RFP) is attached.