NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Over the last year, New Mexico’s Environment Department has been busy addressing environmental issues across the state. The department’s latest quarterly report shows how the department took on polluters and rule-breakers.

A big part of the department’s work is taking action against companies and individuals releasing hazardous materials and not following permit rules. Over the last year, the department has taken hundreds of enforcement actions. And some of those could result in huge payouts to the state.

For example, in June, the department fined a Texas-based oil company more than $40 million. That money will go into the state’s general fund if collected.

The Environment Department says they received an appropriation of $20.3 million from the general fund in fiscal year 2023, meaning the department is giving the fund back nearly double what it paid out – if those fines are collected.

The department has cited many other companies for lesser amounts as well. For example, they reached a $8,400 settlement with the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort and Casino for allegedly failing to pay for petroleum tank registration.

In May and June alone, the Environment Department initiated 424 enforcement actions. So far, 46 of those have been resolved, the department report notes.