Environment Department Calls For ‘Water Stories’ In Celebration Of 50th Anniversary Of Clean Water Act


In 1972, growing public awareness of the importance of water quality led to sweeping amendments to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. The amended law became known as the Clean Water Act. This Act established a goal of restoring and maintaining the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation’s waters for the use and benefit of every American. These goals have helped achieve a dramatic decrease in the levels of pollution in waters of New Mexico.

In October, the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED)’s Surface Water Quality Bureau (SWQB) will host a “Month of Clean Water” conversations and activities in New Mexico to remember the waters of the past, highlight how surface water quality is currently valued and protected, and prepare for the future.

As part of this celebration, the New Mexico Environment Department asks members of the public to share their stories about a special stream, river, lake, or wetland in the NMED public comment portal. These authored or anonymous stories may be showcased during the “Month of Clean Water” or highlighted in SWQB’s Special Winter Edition of the “Clearing the Waters” newsletter.

“Over the past 50 years, together, we have made great strides towards achieving a vision of abundant clean water for people to use and to protect the environment to sustain New Mexico’s future, but we need to do more,” said Surface Water Quality Bureau Chief Shelly Lemon. “As we reflect on many accomplishments, we know that we need to work together to prepare for the challenges of the future and protect our most precious resource.”

In the fiscal year that ended in June, SWQB reduced sediment runoff into rivers and streams by over 800,000 pounds, more than double the target of 400,000 pounds. View additional fiscal year-end performance data here.

All New Mexicans are invited to celebrate 50 years of Clean Water Act achievements and challenged to expand upon their clean water goals for the next 50 years. Learn more about the 50th anniversary of Clean Water Act here. NMED events celebrating the anniversary will be posted to the NMED Event Calendar as they are finalized.

For more information, please contact Surface Water Quality Bureau Chief, Shelly Lemon, at 505-470-5018 or Shelly.Lemon@state.nm.us.


NMED does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age or sex in the administration of its programs or activities, as required by applicable laws and regulations.  NMED is responsible for coordination of compliance efforts and receipt of inquiries concerning non-discrimination requirements implemented by 40 C.F.R. Parts 5 and 7, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and Section 13 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972. If you have any questions about this notice or any of NMED’s non-discrimination programs, policies or procedures, you may contact: Kathryn Becker, Non-Discrimination Coordinator | NMED |1190 St. Francis Dr., Suite N4050 | P.O. Box 5469 | Santa Fe, NM 87502 or (505) 827-2855 or nd.coordinator@state.nm.us. If you believe that you have been discriminated against with respect to a NMED program or activity, you may contact the Non-Discrimination Coordinator.