Rio Grande Gorge, New Mexico
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Border - Pending Project

Project Name: Border
 
Project Location: An area along the New Mexico-Mexico border from the Rio Grande to Arizona.
 
Type of Site: Physical Hazards
 
Congressional District: Two   
 
History: The area along the New Mexico-Mexico border has not been inventoried for AML sites. There are four historic mining districts known to contain many hazardous mine features, mostly shafts and adits, in the northeast portion of the New Mexico “boot heel”. 
 
Impacts: Open shafts and adits along the border present a potential hazard to U.S. Border Patrol agents and Mexican Nationals that cross the border, especially since much activity is at night. Adits and shallow pits may provide hiding places. Abandoned mine features can be used for potential terrorist activities, such as the storage of explosives.
 
On January 20, 2007, a Mexican national fell into a 50-foot shaft on State land west of Columbus and was severely injured. Several years ago, explosives were found in a shaft.
 
Actions and Timeline: BLM has requested funding for the inventory and remediation of the most hazardous features in partnership with the New Mexico Abandoned Mine Land Bureau. If funded, the project would take two to three years.
 
Benefits: Closure of physical hazards will make the border safer for those that work and travel in the area. It will make the U.S. Border Patrol’s job more efficient.
 
Cost/Funding and Estimated BLM contribution: Cost of the project is unknown at this time. BLM has requested $200,000 of one-time, appropriated funding.