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Sandoval County commission rejects energy drilling ordinance

December 16, 2017

BERNALILLO, N.M. (AP) — Sandoval County commissioners have rejected a proposed ordinance to regulate oil and gas development across thousands of square miles of unincorporated lands in northwestern New Mexico.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the commission will consider asking the county’s planning commission to overhaul the 10-page controversial measure, which was rejected early Friday morning following an hours-long meeting.

Residents and tribal representatives said the proposed regulations wouldn’t protect water sources and the environment and would limit public input on future development projects.

Energy companies and industry representatives have argued that the commission had developed a fair and balanced ordinance that would fill a regulatory void and provide for economic opportunities.

The ordinance would apply to the county’s unincorporated lands and would not affect state or federal regulations already in place.

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