Confirmation hearing set on environment secretary

Created: 02/18/2014 9:07 AM
By: The Associated Press

SANTA FE (AP) - Lawmakers are to consider Republican Gov. Susana Martinez's top environmental manager, who's under fire for rules that environmentalists say will allow groundwater pollution by copper mines.

The Senate Rules Committee has scheduled a confirmation hearing Tuesday for Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn, who was appointed last year by the governor.

The committee decides whether to send a nomination to the Senate for a confirmation vote.

If the 42-member Senate rejects Flynn's nomination, he'll be forced out of his cabinet-level job.

Democratic Attorney General Gary King and environmentalists have gone to court to overturn the copper-mining regulations adopted last year by the Water Quality Control Commission.

Critics say the rules violate state law prohibiting water contamination above certain standards. The department contends the rules are stringent and protect the environment.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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