HOUSE MEMORIAL 59
56th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2023
Cathrynn N. Brown
REQUESTING A STUDY OF THE FEASIBILITY OF ESTABLISHING AND STRENGTHENING REQUIREMENTS FOR CAPPING ABANDONED WATER WELLS ON PRIVATE AND PUBLIC PROPERTY.
WHEREAS, many uncapped, abandoned water wells are located throughout the state; and
WHEREAS, abandoned water wells on private and public property create a potential safety risk; and
WHEREAS, currently, there are insufficient laws requiring landowners to cap abandoned water wells on private or public property; and
WHEREAS, many abandoned water wells in the state were constructed before water basins were declared and rules were implemented to require filing of water well records with the office of the state engineer; and
WHEREAS, in 2012, the life of Samuel Jones, a vibrant and beloved four-year-old from Carlsbad, was tragically cut short when he fell into an open, abandoned water well; and
WHEREAS, identification of abandoned water well sites on private and public property and requirements for capping those wells are crucial to prevent such tragedies in the future; and
WHEREAS, the state could most suitably honor the memory of Samuel Jones by taking the actions necessary to establish and improve safety requirements with regard to abandoned water wells;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO that the legislative interim committee that studies issues pertaining to water and natural resources be requested to conduct a study of the feasibility of establishing and strengthening requirements for capping abandoned water wells on private and public property; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that as part of its study, the legislative interim committee obtain information and testimony from the New Mexico municipal league, the New Mexico association of counties and the office of the state engineer; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the legislative interim committee provide recommendations regarding its findings from the study by December 1, 2023; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this memorial be transmitted to the co-chairs of the New Mexico legislative council, the New Mexico municipal league, the New Mexico association of counties and the office of the state engineer.
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