KUNM

Kirtland Misses Another Deadline For Jet Fuel Cleanup

Jan 16, 2015

KAFB is in violation for not meeting a deadline to begin extracting jet fuel components from Albuquerque's aquifer.
Credit Rita Daniels

Kirtland Air Force Base missed another deadline for cleaning up some of a decades-old jet fuel spill. The New Mexico Environment Department has granted them 45 days to comply.

Kirtland had promised to start pumping and then treating toxic water that’s migrating through Albuquerque’s aquifer by the end of last year. But December 31st came and went without that happening. The New Mexico Environment Department’s Notice of Violation could result in fines of up to $5,000 a day.

Leaders of Kirtland’s cleanup team say they’re in the process of proposing a much more robust and effective pump and treat system, hence the delay.

Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn said in the letter that was sent to Kirtland that while plans are important, the agency will not be satisfied until treatment of the contaminated groundwater gets underway.