NMED Cabinet Secretary James Kenney
SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of the Environment (NMED) has released the fourth quarter update to its fiscal year 2022 (FY22) performance assessment report that provides the public, stakeholders and legislators the ability to track the Department’s progress in protecting public health and the environment.
The fourth quarter report, compiled by NMED’s Office of Strategic Initiatives, covers the period from April 1 to June 30.
The fourth quarter report is the final installment of the report on 47 performance metrics divided into five broad categories, as follows:
- 7 public health measures;
- 9 environmental protection measures;
- 24 compliance measures;
- 4 economic investment measures; and
- 3 operational measures.
The fourth quarter report also includes a broader overview of FY22 as a whole and provides historical information for the entire fiscal year (July 1, 2021 through June 30).
“The Department of the Environment touches many aspects of daily life for most New Mexicans, including growing our economy while protecting our food, water, air and workplaces,” the official said. NMED Cabinet Secretary, James Kenney. “This performance review report provides great insight into the important work we do every day in New Mexico. And while we’ve had many successes over the past fiscal year, our biggest obstacle to doing more to protect public health and the environment is the budget. I am extremely proud of our employees who continue to make a difference in the lives of new Mexicans every day. »
While the 47 performance measures largely derive from agreements between NMED and the Legislative Committee on Finance for the state’s 2022 fiscal year, NMED uses these reports to provide other information to the legislature, the public and stakeholders.
Highlights of the report include:
- 98% of New Mexicans breathed clean air in all four quarters of FY22;
- 89% of New Mexicans drank clean water in all four quarters of FY22;
- NMED has invested over $31.6 million in communities for water and solid waste management projects. Additionally, NMED was instrumental in negotiating a $32 million Gold King mine settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which will fund restoration and outdoor recreation projects. in affected communities;
- 114 new water infrastructure projects were started by NMED statewide in FY22, exceeding the goal by 34%;
- NMED conducted 8,916 compliance inspections for the full year, falling short of its target of 10,370 compliance inspections due to staff refocusing on wildfire and flood fighting , focusing on resolving numerous enforcement actions and the lack of staff and travel budget;
- NMED predicted industry compliance rates of at least 85% across eight separate regulatory programs. Four regulatory program areas exceeded this benchmark, while four regulatory program areas fell below this benchmark:
- Liquid waste management program (i.e. septic systems): 99.7% compliance;
- Radiation Clearance Program (i.e. medical equipment): 96% compliance;
- Solid and infectious waste management facilities: 95.5% compliance;
- Groundwater Discharge Permit: 94.4% compliance;
- Sources of air emissions: 70% compliance;
- Restaurants and food manufacturers: 59.3% compliance;
- Hazardous waste management facilities: 58.1% compliance;
- Surface water discharge permit: 41.8% compliance;
- NMED raised $2.4 million in civil penalties which were returned to the general fund;
- Staff from NMED’s Office of Drinking Water provided direct technical assistance to 144 community water systems to help them move from non-compliant to compliant;
- NMED’s Bureau of Surface Water has reduced runoff into rivers and streams by more than 800,000 pounds, more than doubling our goal of 400,000 pounds;
- NMED’s vacancy rate ended the fiscal year 22% at 25%, a slight increase from the start of the year, as the department worked to retain staff who say they are leaving for better-paying jobs with burdens more manageable work. In the fourth quarter, we implemented a variety of retention incentives to retain employees and saw promising early results from a newly implemented hiring pilot program; and
- NMED’s modernization efforts enabled 17.7% of all financial transactions in FY22 to be conducted through an online payment platform from their website.
View the Fourth Quarter FY22 Performance Report here.