EUNICE, N.M. – State officials say they discovered a massive illegal dumping site in southeastern New Mexico while cleaning up a former limestone mining pit.
The more than 3-acre plot of state trust land near Eunice hasn’t been leased since the 1970s when it was mined for shallow deposits of limestone known as caliche. Oil and gas companies use it for roads and well pads.
During the cleanup, staff from the New Mexico State Land Office and contractors found 35 tons of trash and 8 tons of tires that likely were buried there in the 1970s and ’80s, the Land Office said. The office spent $45,000 from its Restoration and Remediation Fund to dispose of the trash and tires.
The Land Office submitted a report to the state Environment Department so it can assess the area and possibly find whoever was responsible for the illegal dumping.
The initial project called for disposing of mine waste, contouring the area and seeding it with native vegetation for future use.