Alibi V.28 No.38 • Sept 19-25, 2019 

Newscity

Team to Study Waste Water Reuse

The News Monkey

State environmental regulators will be joining researchers at New Mexico State University to look into the possibility of treating and reusing waste water produced by gas and oil companies.

Carlsbad Current Argus reports that the Produced Water Research Consortium will be tasked with finding a technological solution to the large amounts of waste water—known as “produced water” in the oil industry—currently produced by hydraulic fracturing within the state. Gas and oil companies have seen a boom in business in recent years, subsequently creating more waste. This contaminated water is usually pumped back underground.

Some oil companies have reportedly been reusing their waste water, but state officials are calling for more research into potential uses and treatment of the industrial byproduct. They are also looking into regulations and policies for reuses outside of the gas and oil industries.

The consortium is a partnership between the New Mexico Environment Department and NMSU. A memorandum of understanding signed by both organizations will remain in effect until September 2022.

NMED plans to hold public meetings to discuss the topic of waste water reuse this fall.

Education Secretary Starts Job

A new state education secretary began work this month.

The Associated Press reports that Secretary Ryan Stewart is a former middle-school math teacher who reportedly helped innovate a district in Philadelphia.

Stewart traveled to an ethnically diverse school district on the state's southern border during his first week on the job. The new official began work under a court order to improve opportunities for low-income and minority students. The order forced lawmakers to increase annual public education spending by around 16 percent and placed additional pressure on the New Mexico Public Education Department to produce results.

The secretary is also beginning his job at a tense time as the department reviews contract proposals for a new student achievement testing system. Stewart also faces seemingly high stakes, as the previous secretary, Karen Trujillo, was fired by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham in July for failing to meet expectations.

Trujillo was recently named Interim Superintendent for Las Cruces Public Schools. She will remain in that position through the remainder of the academic school year.

ABQ Bike Cops Lower Crime Rate

City crime statistics show that some Albuquerque areas have seen improvements since the introduction of police bike patrols.

According to KOAT, arrests went up 25 percent in the Southeast Area Command in the year since bike patrols were introduced, while commercial burglaries have dropped 32 percent and auto thefts have dropped 24 percent. It is unclear whether these statistics were directly impacted by the presence of bicycle officers.

Officials say bike cops are better equipped to patrol and respond in urban areas thanks to their enhanced mobility. The city is reportedly in the process of hiring 10 more bike cops to patrol Central Avenue along the ART corridor.