Drop zone battles continue with proposed Special Use Airspace
The public's right to know?
New Mexico Tech and EMRTC administrators have fought tooth and nail to prevent the public from learning of their plans regarding a possible drop zone and/or Special Use Airspace in and around Socorro. Socorro News has repeatedly been denied access to public records on the topic - records that New Mexico's Inspection of Public Records Act requires NM Tech to release upon request.
Despite laws requiring such disclosure, NM Tech and EMRTC appear to be playing a game of "who has deeper pockets" in which they assume that most citizens and small citizen-run news sites such as Socorro News will not call their bluff and challenge them in court. This is the same approach that Tech took with Kokopelli Ranch, last year, and it backfired dramatically when Judge Kevin Swazea slapped them into line and demanded that Tech hand over the documents.
Interestingly, despite Tech's claims that they have no records related to the possible establishment of a Special Use Airspace, the Albuquerque Journal has just published notice of three upcoming meetings on the topic. Apparently NM Tech and EMRTC have been planning to push for a Special Use Airspace, yet do not possess a single record on the matter - go figure!
For details on the upcoming meetings, check out the public notice in the Albuquerque Journal
Draft of Environmental "Assessment"
In the public notice from the Albuquerque Journal, NM Tech claims that the draft environmental assessment document is available at EMRTC's web site. This is false. This is the same approach Tech chose for the draft EA for the drop zone - claiming that the public could download it from EMRTC's web site, yet not actually posting it on the web. In any event, the document is a fairly "fluffy" attempt at an EA, and can be found at Socorro's public library. We also are hosting a low-quality scanned copy here - it's perfectly legible except the maps are bad because they should be color.