Officials Fault Air Force Fuel Spill Change

Jun 1, 2013

State officials say an Air Force system for sucking fuel contamination from Albuquerque groundwater is using a less effective technology than planned.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that New Mexico Environment Department also said Friday that the Air Force made the switch without consulting state regulators.

The Air Force says the design change was made for fire safety reasons and that the system still meets the contamination removal requirements.

But Tom Skibitski, head of the state Environment Department's Resource Protection Division, says the Air Force didn't put in what they told the state they were going to put in, and they didn't tell state officials why.

Kirtland Air Force base discovered a spill from a leaking underground fuel line in 1999. Officials believe fuel had been leaking for decades.