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New Mexico Environmental Department hires new legal director

Bruce Baizel will also work with the Office of Natural Resources Trustee

The New Mexico Environment Department and the Office of Natural Resources Trustee recently hired Bruce Baizel to work as the department’s legal director.

The position will advise the cabinet secretary as well as the trustee about legal matters. Baizel will also be responsible for directing various agency priorities.

Baizel

“Bruce is a national leader in environmental law, regulations and policy,” said NMED Cabinet Secretary James Kenney. “He will further our efforts to improve public health outcomes for communities while protecting our environment.”

Baizel has extensive oil and gas industry policy experience and served on the New Mexico Methane Advisory Panel. The panel met in 2019 and drafted a document that helped the department come up with oil and gas regulations.

“Baizel also served on review teams with the State Review of Oil and Natural Gas Environmental Regulations (STRONGER), evaluating the oil and gas regulations of Colorado, Louisiana, Pennsylvania and Virginia,” said Maddy Hayden, NMED spokeswoman.

Baizel will have a different role in each agency. For NMED, Baizel will work on the department’s oil and gas regulations as well as Governor’s Executive Order on Addressing Climate Change and Energy Waste Prevention.

For the Office of Natural Resources Trustee, Baizel is tasked with collaborating with the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office to identify and pursue damage cases against natural resources.

“NMED and ONRT are doing strong work on important environmental initiatives, and I look forward to assisting these agencies in securing positive results for all New Mexicans,” Baizel said.

mmitchell@durangoherald.com

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