Key findings from New Mexico

Key findings:

  • Concerns about a proposed hazardous-waste facility in New Mexico prompted a complaint that has been pending in the EPA’s Office of Civil Rights for 13 years with no resolution.
  • The New Mexico complaint, filed in 2002, alleged a lack of consideration for Spanish-speaking residents during the permitting process for a planned hazardous-waste facility in Chaves County.
  • As discrimination complaints languish at the EPA, situations on the ground can change: the main target of the New Mexico complaint died, for example, and several of the complainants moved away.
  • Five groups, including complainants in the New Mexico case, are suing EPA to force the agency to act on pending civil rights cases, some of which were filed in the early 1990s.
  • The New Mexico complaint was accepted for investigation in 2005, but the EPA took nine years to ask the complainants for more information.