In 2021, we were able to pass HB 51, the Environmental Database Act, through the New Mexico State Legislature. It required the creation of a comprehensive map-based database containing environmental and public health data layers from many different state agencies.
Prior to the creation of the database, it was very hard for the public (or even agencies) to really understand what was happening in any particular area of the state. Because every agencies’ data was housed with that agency separately, getting a complete picture of an area required digging through each website and piecing together what was happening.
We are so excited to announce that the database is up and running! It is housed at the Natural Heritage program at UNM and is free and open to the public. It contains a huge amount of information including oil and gas well data, endangered species data, child asthma rates by zip code, poverty rates by zip code, water and air quality permits, and more. Clicking on any data point on the map, like a well, will show specific information about that item, such as ownership and expiration date.
If you choose to become a registered user (also free), you will be able to run reports on the database. This will allow you to either pick a point on the map like an address, or draw a polygon on the map around a project area. You can then ask the database for a report within any radius of that point. It will give you all the information about the resources within that area.
We hope this database will allow the public to better understand what’s happening in New Mexico, will help Industry navigate their own complicated permitting processes, and help state agencies make permitting and planning decisions which are better informed and more holistic.
Here is the website. Audubon Southwest helped create the instructional webinars which will be posted for repeated viewing. Enjoy!