Trespass claim settled for $3.2M
SANTA FE — The State Land Office has settled a trespassing claim against a Houston-based oil and gas company for $3.2 million.
The Land Office had accused the company of doing construction work on state trust lands in Lea County without securing rights-of-way easements, according to a news release from the office.
Under the settlement, the company must reclaim all disturbed areas and provide a $250,000 reclamation bond.
“The rush to make a quick buck is coming at the expense of New Mexico’s environment,” State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn said in the release. “Our agency and the (Oil Conservation Division) need to step up to protect our state and its lands from being damaged by the California-style gold rush happening in Southeast New Mexico.”