County officials say state ‘blackmailed’ them for well study

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — Eddy County officials say they were “blackmailed” by the state of New Mexico into approving a $125,000 study of a brine well to prevent it from collapsing.

The Current-Argus reports county commissioners said Tuesday they had no other choice but to contribute the funds to get the Carlsbad Brine Well problem solved, despite their insistence that the state is to blame for the danger posed by the brine well.

The state collected profits from the well, which it licensed and ultimately decided to close in 2008 when the ground was found unstable.

County Manager Rick Rudometkin says the state wanted “some skin in the game.” He says he thinks the county will be sued whether or not the well collapses.