James Kenney serves as the Cabinet Secretary of the New Mexico Environment Department. He shared, “Our goal here is to improve transparency and let the community of New Mexico know who is operating out of compliance with rules, regulations, licenses, in their community, in their neighborhood.”
The tool makes it easy for people to view active and resolved enforcement cases. According to the list, Netflix was flagged for not properly labeling hazardous waste containers on site.
Montessa Park made the list because its water system did not report disinfectant residuals collected. The Albuquerque park is required to tell all customers and others who drink the water about the violation and repeat the notice annually until it is resolved.
“Maybe, it is that you failed to take samples. Either way, the confidence of that consumer goes down if you can’t assure that your drinking water is safe. So, they have to notify the community that there’s something amiss; that something’s wrong,” Kenney explained.
If an organization has an active case, that means they have an alleged violation. A resolved case means the case was settled in court or the problem was fixed.
Kenney said, “Once that’s resolved, you’ll still be on the list: Why? Because a history of non-compliance is really important to tell New Mexicans about as well.”
May is the first month the department posted the Drinking Water Bureau notices of alleged violations. The bureau issued 199 and the environment department’s cabinet secretary is not pleased with that number.
“That seems like a lot to me, and I’m in this business. It probably will seem like a lot to New Mexicans as well. Especially, if it’s their drinking water provider,” Kenney said.
They’re also looking for help from the community. The Enforcement Watch List provides an option for the public to report environmental or workplace safety violations.