New Mexico Governor Agrees to Publish Building Codes, Sierra Club Drops Suit
On February 1, the Sierra Club agreed to drop its lawsuit against the administration of Gov. Susana Martinez in exchange for her agreeing to publish rules updating 13 state building codes, including the 2009 New Mexico Energy Conservation Code (NMECC). The rules had been pending publication until Gov. Martinez issued an executive order on January 1 freezing the implementation of the codes for 90 days pending further review. On January 18, the Sierra Club asked the New Mexico Supreme Court to require the administration to print the rules. The eventual agreement followed two Supreme Court decisions ruling the Governor had exceeded her authority to cancel other sets of new environmental rules (one involving pollution from dairies and the other reducing greenhouse gas emissions from utilities and other major polluters).
The codes were originally adopted by the Construction Industries Division (CID) from July through September 2010. The NMECC contains amendments that would make it approximately 20% more stringent than the 2006 IECC. The codes are expected to be published in the State Register soon, with all provisions in effect by July 1. SWEEP expects training sessions on the new codes using stimulus money will take place this spring throughout the state.