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Interview :34 - 14:10 Play :34 - More
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J. Richard Olguin  

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Rio Grande  

Environmental Recording 14:21 - 18:41 Play 14:21 - More
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Isleta diversion Dam ambi  

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Interview 18:42 - 1:06:08 Play 18:42 - More
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Lawrence Rael  

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Albuquerque wastewater treatment and discharge  

NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
12 Jul 1993

    Geography
  • United States
    New Mexico
    Bernalillo County
    Locality
  • Isleta Pueblo; Isleta Diversion Dam
    Latitude/Longitude
  • 34.90598   -106.68661
    Recording TimeCode
  • :34 - 18:41
    Geography
  • United States
    New Mexico
    Bernalillo County
    Locality
  • Albuquerque
    Latitude/Longitude
  • 35.11083   -106.61
    Recording TimeCode
  • 18:42 - 1:06:08
    Channels
  • Stereo
    Sampling Rate
  • 48kHz
    Bit Depth
  • 16-bit
    Recorders
    Microphones
    Accessories
    Equipment Note
  • Stereo=1; Split track; Spaced Omni Stereo

NEW MEXICO -OLGUIN

****ABSOLUTE TIME***
J. RICHARD OLGUIN, LT. GOV OF ISLETA PUEBLO. standing at isleta diversion dam. diversts water to east and west of rg for irrigation downstream of main pueblo.

What has happened to these waters. contam for north of alb. point and non point. much coming from alb. some from rio rancho suburbrb.

Waht does Isleta want?
want water clean so it is acceptable for husbandtry. irrigation, fishing, animals
primary driving force. provide clean water for health of indian people, and neighbors. childresn health.

ceremonial ..
yes.

Proof water is cauising illenss.
no. but if checked medical data.

How have you notice water cahnge.
more turbid.

Cost alb. 250 million.
these dollar fuges were not justifed.

Why is it Alb's problem
it's everyone's problem.

PUblic service for everyone on the river.

Why is this river important to you.
We depend on it.

***09:18-:9:53 This river has been with us since time unknown, our people have depended on this river. We call this river Mother Blue Water and today Mother Blue water is very , very polluted by non-Indian people north of us.

Where did idea of upgrading river come from ...
from Tribal religious leaders.

Will you be successful ..
yes, epa backing us up.

Five years from now... a little cleaner.

Drink from it...
no not drink, maybe ceremonial use.

Important part of ceremony

***13:23--13:52 The pueblo having say over the city The pueblo is at same level as state of New Mwx. Alb. is just another city who we can tell what to do, city of alb. cannot tell us.

NEW MEX 3
**** ABSOLUTE TIME***

DEPT. CHIEF ADMIN OFFICER..LAWRENCE RAEL ..

19:50 WHY NOT REASONABLE FOR ISLETTA'S TO HAVE CLEAN WATER. EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE CEAN WATER. BUT WATER WHEN IT GETS TO ALB. IT IS NOT CLEAN AND STANDARDS THAT ARE BEING IMPOSED ARE EXTREME. CONTAMINANTS ARE QUITE HIGH FROM THINGS OTHER THAN ALB. WASTE

We should not be required to clean up as full

21:33 If court uphold standards what happens Increase in water rates for infratsture. 240-250 million in improvements. no time frame leeway. Are the new standrad going to give Isletta what they want.

22:55 --They want to drink water. Dont think so because of nature of river. Doubtful could be attained.

23:55 Alb. dirtier than other cities. EPA award city for doing a good job. Two thirds of RG water comes froom upstream and it arrrive dirty and we're being asked to clean.

24:58--Is Alb. being pressured to clean an already dirty river. We all have respon. to keep water clean . But this is overkill. Look at RG from north to south. But we must lookk at our runoff.

Other pollutants
silt.

27:45 Are they trying to turn back the clock. They are taking a position to turn back clock. Devel has occurred for years and years. Even if we did what they request that won't guarentee that they get what they want.

28:50 Look at all the problems on river, logical to point to Alb. The water coming out of our system is cleaner than water going into river. Must look wat what is causing the rive rto be dirty. many factors that are not in are controll. storm runoff from entire valley.

30:16 What is the solution. Look at it from systematic point of view. state looks at all jurisdiction. Also what can we afford to do. We estimate taht our water rates will double. we pay average of $35 amonth per household.

Standards in improving river from task force.
Indians didn't participate.

32:00 Now two other pueblos going for same designation. Epa said not much they can do. Indians are sovereign nations. Like to find compromise

33:10 Getting favorable sympathies from EPA Need to do whats' best statewide.
No one wants to rule against indians in DC

34:30 What is strongest part of your lawsuite. Standards are unreasonable and can't be attained. Even with huge investment.

35:55 Room for compromise .. Absolutely. Committed to look at our facility. Have sat with tribal officials several times. Need time frame. 5-10 years. Mixed reveiws. Important issue across New Mexico. kind of a test case.

37:55 Wording this morning ..Because they are a state they have stronger position. We'l tell Alb what to do. (laughs) Positon of non-Indian groups is weakened in clean water act legislation and gives diproportionate power.

39:47--River is sacred to them. It's everyone's goal. River is lifeblood. Should keep as clean as possible. but vs. development. we've compromised entire coutnry over environment.

Condition of river is price of striving state.
We try to keep in as clean a state as possible.

42:05 If your car broke down, would you take a swim Absolutely. Grew up and swam and fished on it. I dont drink the water. Above or below alb. Native americans are an exmaple for all of us and in some ways I congrat. for taking strong postion.

still fish in the river
yes.

43:29 Timetable for case.
No timetable. Third roound of briefs.

YOu'd have to bring standards up immediateely. Comes down to our discharge permit. MPDS permit...now tied to Isletta claim. OUr recourse was to challengde the standards. First met with EPA and that didn't work. Once that permit is approved we are immediately in violation. no grace period. $25,000/day fine.

46:30 Why standards set so high. first attempt to develop standards. Push the envelope. Also the consultants advising pueble wanted max. opportunity. Not so sure the Pueble realizes the type of standards put in place.

When epa told you had to abide. We met in Nov. with tribal officials. said we wanted to discuss them first.In dec. fouond out that they had been submitted to epa. christmas eve got official notice, In Jan met iwth reg. epa said standards would be used for mpds permit.

50:05 something else going on. Another issue of waste discharge with low level radioactive waste. Year ago dept of energy asked to check out posibility of disposing doe waste water. public against. our ordinances werent quite enough to prevent that with exemptions part of atomic engergy act. city said we would not accept discharges ... from Sandia lab. into our waste water treatment. we already accept their regular waste. amount of radioactivity was low.

but you turned it down..
But fed regs could supercede us

54:00 RG gotten better over years .. Far better with state's standards. So Isletta water has gotten much better over last few decades. Now more levels of treatment.

55:40--0ther examples of reg changes .. lowering bacteria levels, nutrients.

Okay to eat the fish
Nobody proved otherwise.

Mandating lower bacteria levels by 80%.

will city's argument be standards are unecessary.
even if achieved level won't comply with Isletta. It's not possible because of non point discharge.

Compromise.. jut measure our water and not mixed with incoming more polluted water.
Yes. But issue is now with EPA, not the pueblo. They did what they thought was prudent and EPA accepted. Our gripe is now with the EPA .

will happen in Federal court.

Other state's contact you.
lots of national attention. other NM towns want to support us.

Any documentation of health problems.
Those issues never arose.

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