Privately-Owned Las Cruces Utility Fined $1 Million

Las Cruces – The state Public Regulation Commission has voted to fine a privately owned Las Cruces utility $1 million and assign the bulk of the sanction to the company's president.

Commissioner Sandy Jones says Picacho Hills Utility Co. president Stephen Blanco is liable for 95 percent of the fine, while the company is responsible for 5 percent, or $50,000. The fine was levied Tuesday on a 4-1 vote in Santa Fe, with Commissioner Jason Marks dissenting.

Blanco says he plans to appeal to the state Supreme Court.

The PRC assessed the fines after concluding the utility company had violated a number of laws and PRC-issued orders.

Blanco's dispute with the PRC stems from a proposed effluent pipeline, intended to carry gray irrigation water from ponds at Picacho Hills Country Club to the Rio Grande.


Information from: Las Cruces Sun-News,

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.