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New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) and the Pueblo de San Ildefonso last week announced the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) and protocols that will establish procedures for access to Pueblo Lands, data sharing, sampling, and responding to inadvertent discoveries, and to formalize a process for government-to-government relations that is consistent between the NMED and the Pueblo.
The MOA will allow for better environmental protections and certainties for the Pueblo de San Ildefonso while giving the state the ability to collect data within the exterior boundaries of the Pueblo and Los Alamos National Laboratory.
“This is a common-sense agreement where both parties win and the environment reaps the benefits,” says Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn. “We will now have an agreement and protocols in place to respectfully access and monitor Pueblo lands in an area that helps us better understand potential environmental threats. The agreement eliminates uncertainties and creates a more efficient way of protecting the environment while providing defined procedures for NMED operations on Pueblo land. ”
The MOA outlines specific procedures in place that will allow the Environment Department the ability to access the Pueblo to observe the environment, to perform ground sampling activities, and to share chemical analysis data with the Pueblo. “With this agreement, the Pueblo de San Ildefonso will be able to utilize the resources and expertise of the New Mexico Environment Department, especially during unforeseen events like a storm or nearby forest fires,” says Terry Aguilar, governor.