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Authority members looking state to fill brine well hole

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CARLSBAD — The Carlsbad Brine Well has been a topic that people across Eddy County have been talking about for nearly a decade.

The well located south of Carlsbad was owned at one time by I&W Corp. however it closed in 2008 and during that time frame, people have been concerned that it could cave in and if it does it could have a major impact not only on Carlsbad, but the entire county as a whole.

Right now, people at all levels of government are trying to find the funds to remediate the situation, and everyone across the country, state and even Eddy County could be footing the bill for it.

Last Wednesday, Jan. 10, the Brine Well Advisory Authority held their first meeting of the year in Carlsbad and right now members of the group are asking members of the state legislature to help out.

“We’re gonna need people up there to support our legislators,” said John Heaton chairman of the authority. “Hearing from us is absolutely critical.”

According to information supplied during the meeting, the cost to fix the problem could cost $43 million and the funds to fix it are coming from a number of sources over the next four fiscal years.

They’re asking the Federal Emergency Management Administration to kick in a one time fee of $4 million. That would come in during Fiscal Year 2019. Eddy County and the City of Carlsbad are being asked to come up with $1 million over the four year period. That would be $500,000 a piece.

People on the authority are keeping their fingers crossed that legislation sponsored by Sen. Carroll Leavell (R-Jal) and State Rep. Cathrynn Brown (R -Carlsbad) will gain favor with other lawmakers in Santa Fe during the legislative session.

During last week’s meeting Heaton said, “a lot of work (needs to be done) by legislators and us to make it happen.”

General assignment reporter Mike Smith can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 307, or at sports2@rdrnews.com.