KUNM

NMED Open To Suggestions For Kirtland Fuel Cleanup

Oct 22, 2014

 

The public was invited out on a field trip to learn about the jet fuel spill at Kirtland Air Force Base.
Credit Rita Daniels

The New Mexico Environment Department took about 50 members of the public on an informational tour of the Kirtland Air Force jet fuel spill this week.  The tour group spent the day learning about the parts of  Albuquerque’s aquifer that have been contaminated.

Geologists said one of the issues that makes cleanup of the site so complicated is that the water table has risen in recent years, trapping some of the liquid jet fuel beneath the top of the aquifer.

When it comes to remediation Steve Reuter of the New Mexico Environment Department told the group they’re open to suggestions.

“At this point there is no technology that’s off the table,” Rueter told the group.  “We’ll consider anything. If you have an idea and want to email me, I’ll leave my business cards here and you can get ahold of me.”

Kirtland has already started to extract some fuel vapors from the soil and plans to begin pumping and treating some of the contaminated water next year.

It’s estimated that up to 24 million gallons of jet fuel leaked out from a pipe over decades but wasn’t discovered until 1999.