New Building Codes Suspended by New Mexico Governor

January 21, 2011 / Elizabeth Buckley, Commercial Property Analyst

An environmental organization— Sierra Club is suing Governor Susana Martinez before the New Mexico Supreme Court after preventing the publication of new building codes that aims to uphold energy- saving standards. Not long before the governor took office on January 1, 2011 an executive order was issued to suspend all proposed and pending regulations including the new building codes while a task force reviews them for 90 days.

New Building Codes Suspended by New Mexico Governor

The environmental organization asserts the new building codes can assist businesses and residents reduce energy usage by 20 percent, and everybody in New Mexico will benefit from a smaller demand for energy, which will conserve resources and cut-down power plant emissions.

The Sierra Club challenges that Martinez go beyond her authority through canceling regulations including the new building codes finalized by the earlier administration, as well as the officials of the Construction Industry Division and the State Records Center exceeded their authority through attempting to cancel the publication of the new building codes.

According to senior staff attorney Gloria Smith of Sierra Club, Martinez cannot evade the law or expand her authority by an executive order.

New Mexico’s Construction Industry Division which is under the Regulation and Licensing Department adopted 13 new building codes from July until September 2010.

The new regulations for the codes were filed on December 28, 2010 with the Record Center, but on January 5, 2011, the division cancelled the filing and the codes were not publicized in January 14.

Earlier this month, two lawsuits were file filed by the Environmental Law Center in New Mexico for groundwater discharges and greenhouse gas emissions, which is similar to Sierra Club’s lawsuit regarding the new building codes.

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