State of New Mexico > Environment Department > Ground Water Quality Bureau
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Harold Runnels Building Room N2250,
1190 St. Francis Drive, Santa Fe, NM  87505
Phone (505)827-2900 Fax (505)827-2965

Mission:  To preserve, protect and improve New Mexico's ground water quality for present and future generations.

Overview:  The role of the Ground Water Quality Bureau is to protect the environmental quality of New Mexico's ground water resources as mandated by the Water Quality Act and the Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) regulations (20.6 NMAC), and to identify, investigate and clean-up contaminated sites which pose significant risks to human health and the environment. 

The Ground Water Quality Bureau:

  • Issues ground water pollution prevention permits
  • Implements the departments responsibilities under the new Mexico Mining Act to ensure that environmental issues are addressed and standards are met
  • Oversees ground water investigation and remediation activities
  • Identifies, investigates and remediates inactive hazardous waste sites through implementation of the federal Superfund program
  • Oversees agreements between the state and responsible parties
  • Implements the Voluntary Remediation Program

The Bureau also strives to increase industry and public understanding and awareness of the importance of safe ground water supplies in sustaining the quality of life in New Mexico for this and future generations, and the importance of protecting ground water quality through pollution prevention initiatives.

Revisions to Ground and Surface Water
Protection Regulations

The Ground Water Quality Bureau will be proposing revisions to the WQCC regulations for Ground and Surface Water Protection (20.6.2 NMAC) in Spring 2017. If you would like to receive updates on this process please contact Steve Huddleson, manager of the Pollution Prevention Section, at (505) 827-2936. Updates will also be sent out via email to subscribers on the GWQB General News mailing list.

Inquiries may also be submitted by email to

A draft of the proposed revisions, dated September 19, 2016, is available below.

Summary of Major Proposed Revisions

Comments received on the June 16, 2016 draft

Comments received on the September 19, 2016 draft

Public Listening Sessions for the Revisions

Online Listening Session November 17, 2016

NMED will host an online listening session to receive public comment on the proposed revisions on November 17, 2016 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. using WebEx. Contact Dennis McQuillan at or (505) 827-2140 to request the meeting name and password. Listening session participants will need to have internet access, a telephone with long distance access, and a device that is capable of installing and running the free WebEx driver.

The Ground Water Quality Bureau hosted public listening sessions regarding the draft rule revisions in Albuquerque, Las Cruces, and Farmington.

Las Cruces

September 20, 2016 ~ 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
NMSU Environmental Health & Safety Ofcs
Academic Research C, Room 110
1620 Standley Drive, Las Cruces


September 22, 2016 ~ 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Erna Fergusson Library meeting room
3700 San Mateo NE, Albuquerque


September 28, 2016 ~ 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Farmington Civic Center
Rooms 2 and 3
200 W. Arrington St., Farmington


September 29, 2016 ~ 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Roswell Museum and Art Center
Bassett Auditorium
100 W. 11th St., Roswell

* Park on 11th St to access museum*


 September 19, 2016 Draft of Proposed Changes to 20.6.2 NMAC Available for Public Comment

The document below contains the preliminary text of sections with the Department's initial proposal for changes to 20.6.2 NMAC. Deleted materials are indicated by strikethrough, and new materials in the text are indicated by underline. A clean copy, with proposed revisions incorporated is also provided.

Please provide your comments via electronic mail to the GWQB at no later than 5 PM MDT on Monday, October 17, 2016.

Draft Proposed revisions           Clean copy of draft proposed revisions

Two corrections were made to the draft released September 16, 2016: the proposed groundwater standard for Radioactivity has been lowered to 5 pCi/l ( NMAC) and a proposed revision to NMAC has been removed.

Kick-off Meeting ~ Friday, May 20, 2016

The Ground Water Quality Bureau held an informational public meeting to launch the review process and public dialogue for proposed revisions to the Ground and Surface Water Protection Regulations.

Slides from the meeting presentation

Questions and answers from the meeting

Hydrogeologic Framework of the Santa Fe Area
Hawley Geomatters, September 2016

New Ground Water Discharge Permit application

A New Discharge Permit Application form (non-dairy) is available, effective August 1, 2015. The previous version of the form will not be accepted after September 1, 2015. Applications already in progress are not affected. Please visit the GWQB Forms page for the most current application. Discharge permit applications for dairies should use the forms on the Dairy page.

The Ground Water Quality Bureau includes the following five sections:

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updates and information by email.

Public notice of GW discharge permit applications received (PN-1)


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Public notice of proposed GW discharge permits (PN-2)


Click above to subscribe to email updates about groundwater draft discharge permits available for public review.

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GWQB General News


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