Appellate court upholds New Mexico’s oil and gas pit rule

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SANTA FE (AP) – The New Mexico Court of Appeals is refusing to overturn revamped regulations aimed at managing certain wastes produced by oil and natural gas drilling.

The court recently issued an opinion in response to an appeal filed by environmental groups that accused regulators of not adequately explaining why the rules were being revised.

The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance and Earthworks’ Oil and Gas Accountability Project wanted the rules to be reconsidered by the Oil Conservation Commission.

The court found that the commission acted appropriately when it adopted the changes in 2013.

The industry had argued that previous regulations pushed producers from the state, costing New Mexico jobs and revenue. They petitioned in 2011 for the regulations to be amended.

Environmentalists maintained that relaxing the rules could lead to contamination.

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