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New Mexico Environment Department: Please Deny Groundwater Discharge Permit for Valley Meat Company

This petition had 3,355 supporters

The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) has scheduled a public hearing for October 22, 2013 to consider the proposed approval of a ground water Discharge Permit Renewal, DP-236, based on the application submitted by Ricardo De Los Santos, President of Valley Meat Company, LLC, 3845 Cedarvale Road, Roswell, New Mexico 88203.  Ground Water Discharge Permits are issued and renewed pursuant to the New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) Regulations, 20.6.2 NMAC. 

In the Discharge Permit Application submitted by Valley Meat Company, DP-236, Mr. De Los Santos proposes to renew the Discharge Permit for the discharge of up to 8,000 gallons per day of livestock processing wastewater from a slaughter facility.  Wastewater generated from the slaughter facility and occasional washdown of receiving pens collects in two concrete tanks for solids settling before flowing into the first of two synthetically lined impoundments for disposal by evaporation.  Potential ground water contaminants associated with this type of discharge include nitrogen compounds.  The facility is located at 3845 Cedarvale Road, approximately six miles east of Roswell, in Section 17, T11S, R25E, Chaves County.  Ground water beneath the site is at a depth of approximately 10 feet and has a total dissolved solids concentration of approximately 4,080 milligrams per liter.

NMSA 1978, Section 74-6-5 (E)(4) requires that if an "applicant" has, within the last ten (10) years, received a felony charge or one constituting moral turpitude that NMED must deny the application.  Mr. Ricardo De Los Santos of Valley Meat Company has 2 such convictions, and has forged his application by intentionally withholding this information, which is a further crime.

Additionally, Valley Meat Company has been fined numerous times in the past for improper disposal of cattle carcasses.  There is documented proof of cattle carcasses over 10 feet high.  His past neglect and abuse of the environment while operating this same facility for cattle slaughter is a clear indication of how he will operate for equine slaughter.

Considering that equines have significantly more  blood than cattle, Valley Meat Company will require significantly more clean water to process and clean the blood from the facility than when they operated as a cattle slaughter facility.  As New Mexico is in drought conditions, this hardly seems appropriate to waste perfectly good, clean water for this purpose when it is in dire need by living beings.

The amount of waste water that will be produced is another grave concern.  There is nothing to indicate that the Valley Meat Company facility can handle an excessive amount of wastewater without destroying the environment.  The stench of drug-laden rotting blood will be consume the fresh air in the surrounding area.  The drug-laden blood will pollute the ground water and destroy the natural habitat for wildlife.

Paula Bacon, former mayor of Kauffman, Texas, has described in great detail the devastation that horse slaughter brings to a community, which goes beyond the ground water:

For these reasons, we respectfully request that the Groundwater Discharge Permit requested for renewal by Valley Meat Company be denied. 

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