Local News
5:41 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Albuquerque Water Utility Board Demands Clean Up Of Fuel Leak

The Ridgecrest Well Number 5 is the most productive well in Bernalillo County. It is in the path of the expanding plume of contamination from the Kirtland fuel spill.
The Ridgecrest Well Number 5 is the most productive well in Bernalillo County. It is in the path of the expanding plume of contamination from the Kirtland fuel spill.
Credit Rita Daniels

On Monday members of Bernalillo County's water utility gathered around what they call the purest and most productive water well in the entire county. They demanded that the U.S. Air Force implement a more aggressive approach to dealing with the underground jet fuel leak that threatens Albuquerque's water supply.

 

In 1999 Air Force officials discovered millions of gallons of jet fuel had been leaking, probably for decades, at Kirtland Air Force Base. It's believed that toxins in the fuel are making their way towards the city's drinking water.

 

Since the discovery, the U.S. Air Force and the state environment department have analyzed how the toxic plume is behaving.

 

Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Board member and County Commissioner Maggie Hart Stebbins said she thinks it's time to start removing the toxins from the ground instead of just analyzing the data. 

 

"That has been the delay," Stebbins explained, "understanding exactly where the fuel is, how far it has spread, and looking at the different actual qualities of the earth beneath our feet to figure out what the most effective remediation strategy would be. We just want a little bit more aggressive approach on the part of Kirtland's contractor. "

 

Kirtland has until the end of the month to resubmit a plan to deal with the fuel spill and until December 30th to implement it.