Federal Mineral Lease Funds to Help in Water Testing and Road Improvement Projects

Weld County Road 105. Photo courtesy of Weld County.

The Weld County Board of Commissioners accepted funds from the Federal Mineral Lease Act District last week to assist with road improvements identified in the county’s Haul Route Program and to be utilized in continuing the county’s water testing program.

Weld County will receive $1 million this year to be used for the cost of completing nine road projects county-wide, which are identified as Haul Route Program (HARP) projects. The HARP was created to mitigate the impact of the oil and gas industry’s heavy vehicle use on county roads as HARP projects are designed to improve those roads.

“The traveling public expects our roads to be safe, efficient, and meet their overall needs,” said Weld County Commissioner Chair Steve Moreno. “While the county budgets each year for road improvements, funding from the Federal Mineral Lease Act District is a great additional resource we can use to maintain our transportation system,” Steve said.

Federal Mineral Lease Funds represent a portion of the revenue received from mineral leases on federal lands. The anticipated improvements consist of full-depth reclamation, paving, or treatment on gravel roads.

Weld County’s Federal Mineral Lease Act District was created in 2011. The county received a total of $52,473 to maintain and assist with the program and equipment.

The county’s well-water testing program in 2012 offers free Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) testing to county residents on well water. A total of 1,339 well-water samples have been tested for free to date, which has saved residents more than $200,000.

Municipal water is already tested for VOCs by the individual municipal water suppliers. The board purchased two new pieces of testing equipment last year, which will allow for more efficient testing of well-water samples.

Residents can have their well water sampled twice per year for free by calling the Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment at 970-304-6415. Residents can also have their well water tested for metals, ions, bacteria, and pH balance for a fee.

“This is the first year that the total given from the district has exceeded $50,000,” said Mike Freeman, Weld County Commissioner and Chair of the Federal Mineral Leasing Act District. “This is a very important program to residents, so we wanted to be sure to cover the full cost of the program,” Mike said.

For more information regarding Weld County’s water testing program, visit: https://www.weldgov.com/departments/health_and_environment/environmental_health/water_quality or to learn more about HARP, visit: https://www.weldgov.com/departments/public_works/transportation_planning

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