Lujan Grisham called on to halt oil and gas permits to curb pollution

Blocking oil and gas permits could be necessary to stopping air pollution, argued New Mexico environmental activists in an appeal to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

The groups called for an end to oil and gas permitting as the state established new rules aimed at limiting emissions of methane and other air pollutants from extraction operations.

New Mexico’s Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) recently enacted new rules for oil and gas operators that will require they capture 98 percent of natural gas emissions by 2026, while the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) sought companion regulations to reduce emitted ozone precursors.

More:Work continuing in New Mexico to reuse oil and gas wastewater in other sectors

Ground-level ozone, a cancer-causing air pollutant, is created when volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are frequently emitted by oil and gas facilities, interact with sunlight.