Environmental Justice in New Mexico

by | Jun 28, 2023 | News and Interviews, Newsletters

New Mexico is on the cusp of leading the nation in environmental justice.  Recent actions at the federal level can propel our state to the forefront of this critical aspect of environmental policy.


  • The Justice40 Initiative is a requirement of Executive Order 14008Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad.  The Justice40 Initiative is a government effort to deliver at least 40 percent of the overall benefits from certain federal investments to disadvantaged communities.  The focus of EM’s environmental cleanup work under the Justice40 Initiative is soil and groundwater remediation.
  • The EM-Los Alamos Field Office (EM-LA) in New Mexico was chosen by the Administration as one of five U.S. Department of Energy Justice40 Pilot Programs and it is the only Justice40 Pilot Program in EM.  The Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque was also chosen as one of 10 EM Justice sites/programs in the U.S.

Albuquerque Becomes First City in Nation to Advance Justice40

Joined by climate justice, economic justice and social justice advocates, Mayor Tim Keller signed an Executive Order for Equitable and Just Implementation of Justice40. Albuquerque is the first city to take action to advance the Justice40 Initiative, a Biden-Harris Administration initiative to deliver 40 percent of overall benefits from certain federal investments to disadvantaged communities.

“President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative is reshaping hundreds of federal programs to ensure the benefits of investments in clean energy, clean water, affordable housing, and more reach communities that have been left behind for too long,” said Dr. Jalonne L. White-Newsome, Senior Director for Environmental Justice at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. “Albuquerque is stepping up as a partner in our shared efforts to advance equity and environmental justice at every level of government.”

“This will make Albuquerque the first city to call on deep community-government collaboration to secure federal funding for bottom-up solutions that transform legacy systems that are inequitable,” said Richard Mooreco-founder and executive director of Los Jardines Institute and a long-time Albuquerque community leader who was appointed by the Biden administration to the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council. 

Since Sandoval County lies in close proximity to Los Alamos and Sandia Labs, there could well be some residue effects for our county.  This is something that we, in the county, need to track.

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