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New Mexico Cites County for Illegal Landfill Excavation

The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) has issued a compliance order to a Santa Fe County for allegedly conducting an illegal excavation at a county landfill last fall. The state says that the excavation left solid waste along the edges of the site exposed for several days.

NMED’s Solid Waste Bureau says Santa Fe County removed approximately 2,350 tons of solid waste in September 2008. New Mexico says Santa Fe violated state regulations by failing to submit an excavation plan to the state before conducting the excavation.

“The department requires appropriate notification for excavations to determine whether that work protects the environment and nearby residents from impacts related to exposed garbage,” said Jim Norton, director of New Mexico’s Environmental Protection Division, in a press release.

Santa Fe County has 30 days to acknowledge the violation and pay a $5,000 civil penalty, request a public hearing or initiate settlement discussions.