The firestorm of publicity that Valley Meat Co. has ignited nationally has made New Mexico Environment Department Cabinet Secretary Designate Ryan Flynn’s first months on the job interesting.
Tapped by Gov. Susana Martinez as head of the NMED in April, Valley Meat’s application for a groundwater renewal permit for its proposed horse meat slaughterhouse has sparked political and public controversy for the new appointee.
“This is certainly one of the most high profile cases,” Flynn said. “But it cannot be treated any differently. Sometimes, that’s difficult, but that’s our job.”
Flynn visited Roswell Tuesday during a tour of Southeast New Mexico, in an ongoing effort to visit communities throughout the state. During his visit, Flynn spoke honestly and openly with the Record about Valley Meat’s groundwater permit process.
The permit was denied by NMED in July. NMED held an official, legal and public hearing on the permit at the Chaves County Courthouse.
Flynn, former lawyer and general counsel for NMED, said he had to take steps to ensure the hearing was held in a secure environment in Roswell, for the safety of his employees and the public. Chaves County Courthouse was the only building in the city he felt was safe enough to Login to read more