The Associated Press January 10, 2012, 11:25AM ET

NM: Groundwater projects selected for Grant County

New Mexico environment officials say six groundwater restoration projects are being given the green light in Grant County.

New Mexico Natural Resources Trustee Dave Martin says the projects will be funded from a $13 million settlement involving the release of hazardous substances from copper mining operations in southwestern New Mexico owned by Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold Inc.

Martin says the groundwater restoration projects were selected following a public outreach effort.

The projects include the removal of hazardous substances at the San Vicente Creek Mill and work to prevent contaminants from reaching Santa Clara's groundwater and wells.

Sewer lines will also be improved and infrastructure will be developed at the Bayard wastewater plant to enable groundwater conservation by using treated wastewater for irrigation.

Martin says if there's money left over, there are additional projects that can be considered.


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