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Eddy County commits $1.5M for Brine Well work resumption

The State of New Mexico continued to gather funds for work to resume at the Carlsbad Brine Well after Eddy County agreed to set aside money for the project. 

Work paused in July 2020 by the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (ENMRD) as additional funds were needed to continue the project where U.S. Highways 62/180 and 285 converge to form the South Y.

Tuesday, Eddy County Board of County Commissioners approved $1.5 million in funds for final implementation of remediation work.

According to Eddy County Commission documents, $18 million was needed to finish the work.

More:Remediation work at Brine Well expected to resume soon

ENMRD secured $5 million in a special appropriation from House Bill 2 (HB-2) during the last New Mexico Legislative session. Another special appropriation of $10 million from the New Mexico Department of Transportation’s (DOT) State Road Fund was set aside, per county records.

Eddy County and the City of Carlsbad provided the remaining $3 million combined for the work, county documents indicated.

A map from the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department shows the Carlsbad Brine Well site.

Eddy County Manager Allen Davis said local officials had several talks with ENMRD Secretary Sarah Cottrell-Propst on funding the project.

“We talked about the monies that have been committed to date,” he said.

According to Eddy County documents, original appropriations and contributions for the work was $54 million and $49 million was spent through Nov. 6, 2020.

More:Brine Well work remains on hold as State seeks $18 million to complete project

The Wood Group, an engineering firm, estimated the cost to finish the project was $24 million and there was $3.2 million in estimated cost reductions, county documents read.