Earlier this month, the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) and U.S. EPA convened New Mexico’s first Environmental Crimes Task Force. The mission of the task force is to enhance federal, tribal, and state cooperation in investigating and prosecuting criminal violations of federal, tribal, and state environmental laws. The task force will also focus on advancing civil rights and environmental justice through timely and effective remedies for systemic environmental violations in underserved communities that have been historically marginalized and overburdened, including low-income communities and communities of color.
“If you circumvent New Mexico’s environmental laws, we will find you and we will prosecute you,” says NMED Cabinet Secretary James Kenney. “The Environmental Crimes Task Force will bring much needed investigation and prosecution resources and coordination to New Mexico, which will serve to level the playing field and increase environmental compliance in our communities.”