For immediate release
May 5, 2017
Doug Wolf, Center for Biological Diversity
Allyson Siwik, Gila Conservation Coalition
River Protectors Urge NM Attorney General To Seek Termination of AECOM Gila Contract
Today the Gila Conservation Coalition (GCC), the Center for Biological Diversity, and former Interstate Stream Commission (ISC) Director Norm Gaume petitioned New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas [letter is attached] to seek termination of an ISC contract with engineering giant AECOM. At the same time AECOM was one of two finalists for the contract to provide design services for a potential Gila River diversion and storage project, it made a contribution to Susana PAC, the Governor’s political action committee.
Center Senior Attorney Doug Wolf explained: “This was a clear violation of section 13-1-191.1F(2) of the state procurement code. On January 19, 2017 we submitted to NM State Purchasing Agent Lawrence Maxwell a complaint outlining AECOM’s illegal campaign contribution and, except for an April 14 acknowledgement that our letter was received, have heard nothing from Mr. Maxwell or his office. Today we are urging NM Attorney General Hector Balderas to step in and force the State Purchasing Agent or the ISC to terminate this wrongfully awarded contract.”
“The ISC has already paid AECOM $535,875 in Phase I of the contract and approved Phase II spending of $836,000,” noted GCC Executive Director Allyson Siwik. “The ISC is now being asked by the New Mexico CAP Entity to continue these contracts and, potentially, commit money to AECOM Gila diversion design work that would be better spent on local water supply and conservation projects,” added Siwik.
“The ISC should cut its ties with this bad actor company–it certainly should not give it any more money, which the ISC is poised to do,” stated Todd Schulke, Senior Staff for the Center for Biological Diversity.
Mr. Gaume concludes: “the money the ISC has spent on AECOM work has been wasted: it has not identified a feasible diversion and storage scheme; worse, given the very high cost and low water yield of any Arizona Water Settlement Act diversion project, AECOM isn’t going to find a feasible approach no matter how much money the ISC approves for them to waste.”