Public participation is a central part of any successful regulatory agency’s work. The Office of Public Facilitation (OPF) conducts fair and impartial public hearings for the Environment Department. The OPF is an independent unit within the Office of the Secretary, and is staffed by a full time Administrative Law Judge, a Board and Commission Administrator, and a Hearing Clerk.
These staff facilitate a variety of proceedings that include public participation, including board and commission meetings and rulemaking and administrative hearings.
The following Boards, Commissions, Committees and Councils are affiliated with the Department:
The Board adopts nearly all regulations administered by NMED with the exception of regulations relating to ground water and surface water, which are adopted by the Water Quality Control Commission, below. The Board also hears appeals of air quality permits issued by NMED.
The EIB is responsible for the promulgation of rules and standards in:
- Air quality management
- Food protection
- Hazardous wastes and petroleum storage tanks
- Liquid waste
- Medical radiation, health and safety certification and
- standards for radiologic technologists
- Noise control, nuisance abatement, vector control
- Occupational health and safety
- Plumbing, drainage, ventilation and sanitation of public buildings
- Radiation control
- Sanitation of public swimming pools and public baths
- Solid waste
- Water supply
The OHSRC is a three-member “labor and industrial commission.” The commission chairman is designated by the governor and the OHSRC meets only at the call of the chairman.
Citations and penalties issued to employers by NMED OSHA Bureau may be appealed to the Commission.
Interstate Technology & Regulatory Council (ITRC)
Various NMED staff participate on the ITRC and the New Mexico council contact resides within the NMED Ground Water Quality Bureau’s Remediation Oversight Section. ITRC is a public-private coalition working to reduce barriers to the use of innovative environmental technologies that reduce compliance costs and maximize cleanup efficacy. ITRC website
The duty of the Council is to advise NMED on medical imaging and radiation therapy. The council is administratively attached to NMED and the Radiation Control Bureau.
The duty of the Council to advise NMED and the Environmental Improvement Board on technical matters relating to radiation. The council is administratively attached to NMED and the Radiation Control Bureau.
The STC is an advisory committee operating under the Ground Water Protection Act and has seven members appointed by the governor.
- Reviews corrective action plans and monthly financial reports on the Corrective Action Fund.
- Makes recommendations to the NMED Secretary.
Meetings every other month serve as a public forum on a variety of issues related to the state’s program for managing underground and above ground storage tanks.
The Utility Operators Certification Advisory Board (UOCAB) is mandated by NMSA 1978, Section 61-33-4 and works with the Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) to establish qualifications for operators, classify public water supply systems and public wastewater facilities, adopt rules and advise the department on the administration of the Utility Operators Certification Act.
The WTAC consists of five members appointed by the NMED Secretary and is concerned with:
- Wastewater treatment and disposal technologies for both large- and small-flow domestic
- Commercial and agricultural wastewater systems
Generally, the Commission adopts all regulations and standards administered by NMED relating to ground water or surface water, and hears appeals from the Department’s water-related permitting and enforcement actions.
The commission is the state water pollution control agency for this state for all purposes of the:
- Federal Clean Water Act
- Federal Safe Drinking Water Act -- (wellhead protection and sole source aquifer programs)
The basic authority for water quality management in New Mexico is provided through the State Water Quality Act
Duties and powers of the commission include:
- Adoption and development of a comprehensive water quality management program and continuing planning process
- Administration of loans and grants from the federal government
- Adoption of water quality standards
- Adoption of regulations “to prevent or abate water pollution in the state or in any specific geographic area or watershed of the state or for any class of waters.”