Senate Tables Carlsbad Brine Well Measures

Jan 25, 2018

State lawmakers put aside a set of proposals Thursday, Jan. 25, that were aimed at stopping a sinkhole from forming in Carlsbad.

The Senate Conservation Committee tabled five bills to remediate the Carlsbad brine well. The measures would have used $35 million from multiple state funds, including one to help plug up abandoned oil and gas wells.

State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn said the brine well is a serious problem, but money should be spent on reclaiming “orphaned” oil and gas wells.

“We’re left with about 600 wells, some of which are leaking into the aquifer,” said Dunn. “It’s a problem, and they need to put more money towards both issues.”

The brine well could collapse as soon as 2020, according to some studies, and cause up to a billion dollars in infrastructure damage.

Carlsbad legislators are looking for other ways to get help, including FEMA’s Pre-Disaster Mitigation Fund.