Madrid Stormwater & Erosion Control Project

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Letter from AML – 2.14.2024

Dear Madrid Residents,
Thank you to those that attended the public meeting last week and submitted comments. We have received significant public input including both positive and negative comments towards the New Mexico Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Madrid Stormwater and Erosion Control Project. After talking with a few Madrid community members, our program would like to provide some additional input about our goals and intentions. The NM AML Program has three priorities our program utilizes to assist when developing projects.
1) Protection of public health, safety, and property from immediate hazards, resulting from historic mining practices.
2) Protection of public health, safety and general welfare from adverse effects of past mineral mining and processing practices, which do not constitute an extreme danger.
3) Restoration of lands and waters degraded by adverse effects of past mining practices. The AML’s main focus with the Madrid Stormwater and Erosion Control Project is to redirect and convey stormwater into the arroyo from the east hillside gob piles and other mine related features to reduce and prevent residential and commercial property damage due to flooding, sediment build-up, and erosion.
At the request of the community, this project has been developed and driven solely by community-led input over the past 10 years. In developing this project, the AML Program has worked with numerous property owners who will have new drainage control features located on their property, obtained 72 signed right-of-entry forms for properties in town, and has collaborated with eight state and federal agencies to obtain their feedback. While this process has taken some time, the program is committed to incorporating the needs of the Madrid community into the design while still maintaining the design’s essential function of reducing flooding, slowing stormwater flows, and reducing erosion.
The proposed work in the arroyo is essential to the stormwater project and our program will not be able to complete the drainage/road improvement work throughout town without the arroyo rehabilitation. The Madrid arroyo was re-configured to accommodate mining facilities during the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries, and since the end of mining activities has not functioned as a natural drainage channel. It has been accumulating large amounts of sediment over time, and was further changed during the 2013 flood event. Due to the significant sediment and erosion issues in the arroyo currently, a large restoration and rehabilitation effort is needed to regain proper stream functionality and to absorb arroyo fluctuations during the monsoon season. The AML project would return the arroyo to a pre-mining layout, reestablishing meanders and a natural channel pattern that was altered over 100 years ago during historic coal mining activities. This arroyo pattern is beneficial for slowing stormwater flow, reducing erosion, encouraging water infiltration for replenishing the aquifer, and encouraging plant growth and animal habitat.
After the public meeting our program noted our initial plans for seeding and mulching after construction was insufficient. The Program will work on building up our revegetation plan to include planting live seedlings of native vegetation. We are also considering a temporary drip irrigation system to assist in plant establishment.
Our program will host an additional public meeting focused solely on the project designs at a later to-be-determined date this spring. Once that date is identified, the AML Program will inform KMRD, the MLA and send out additional post card notices in the mail.
We appreciate your involvement in the Madrid Stormwater and Erosion Control Project and look forward to future conversations to make this project the best it can be.
Thank you,
Signed,
The NM AML Program Team

Community Discussion: (Radio Program)

https://www.mixcloud.com/andybramble/bramble-on-dancing-through-the-apocalypse-112/

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The SMA Board of Directors