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Attorney general appeals new copper mine water rules

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Attorney General Gary King says he has filed with the state Court of Appeals in an effort to block newly adopted rules governing groundwater at copper mines.

King said today the rules approved in September by the state’s Water Quality Control Commission violate state law, because they allow groundwater underneath mine sites to be contaminated at levels above groundwater quality standards.

The commission approved the new regulations on a 9-1 vote. They had the support of the state Environment Department and the New Mexico Mining Association. The Environment Department said having industry-specific rules would provide more protection for groundwater.

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