Tierna Unruh-Enos is publisher at The Paper.

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For decades, the Mountain View residents living in a historic residential and agricultural community next to the Rio Grande in the South Valley have been the dumping ground for decades of a dirty industry that no one other neighborhood wants.

To advocate for the Mountain View neighborhood, community groups in the area formed the Mountain View Coalition, advocating for environmental justice. In 2020, the Environmental Health Dept granted a permit for an asphalt plant, furthering environmental pollution for the residents of the area. Members met with city and county leaders to overturn that decision last year after another two permits for asphalt plants were submitted.

Mountain View is a residential community of approximately 6,000 residents, predominantly working-class and largely Hispanic families. In the 1970s, a move was made to zone the area for industrial use, the effects of which are felt heavily today.

Now, the Mountain View Coalition members—Mountain View Neighborhood Association, Mountain View Community Action & Friends of Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge—and the New Mexico Environmental Law Center will file their historic Health, Environment & Equity Impacts draft regulation to the Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board on Monday, November 21st. 

“This regulation is a breakthrough for the people of the Mountain View Neighborhood. We have withstood years of the harmful impacts of industrial activity within a primarily Hispanic and Chicano community, once full of small farms, with a school that is more than 100 years old and on lands where Pueblo people have lived for thousands of years. More recently, the Mountain View community has resisted unjust industrial development in our neighborhood, but our voices have been ignored. Most elected officials turned their backs on us; they thought of us as a ‘throw-away community,” said Marla Painter, Chair of the Mountain View Community Action Committee.

At 2 pm, the Mountain View Coalition, NMELC and community allies will gather at the Mountain View Community Center, 201 Prosperity Avenue SE, to celebrate what they say is a historic moment in the long struggle for environmental justice in frontline impacted communities. The draft will not be made public until after the filing to the Air Quality Control Board.