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State Land Office gets $3.2 million in lawsuit settlement


Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

The New Mexico State Land Office has reached a settlement of $3.2 million in a civil trespass claim with Texas-based Salt Creek Midstream LLC.

According to a Friday statement, proceeds of the settlement will benefit New Mexico’s public K12 schools.

The trespass violations occurred when the company engaged in unauthorized and significant construction activity on state trust lands in Lea County without securing required rights-of-way easements, according to the statement.

The State Land Office said that, in addition to paying $3.2 million, some of the requirements of the settlement include that Salt Creek Midstream must reclaim all disturbed areas and provide an acceptable reclamation bond in the amount of $250,000.

State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn said that Salt Creek would have paid a little less than $217,000 if it had followed legal procedures to access state trust lands rather than the $3.2 million in trespass fines.

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