Wednesday News Roundup: State, Kirtland Begin Fuel Spill Cleanup Test

Oct 30, 2013

State, Kirtland Begin Fuel Spill Cleanup Test - Associated Press

State environment and Kirtland Air Force Base officials are beginning the first large-scale test of a system for pumping and cleaning up contamination from a huge underground jet fuel spill.

Officials are holding a news conference Wednesday to showcase the system, which will pump 70,000 gallons of contaminated water from the underground aquifer that feeds Albuquerque's water supply . The water will be pumped to nearby mobile tanks for filtering and treatment.

The fuel came from what officials now believe was a 40-year leak from underground pipes at a Kirtland aircraft fuel loading facility.

The leak was discovered in 1999.

The size of the spill has been estimated as large as 24 million gallons - or twice the size of the Exxon Valdez oil spill .

Obama Signs Disaster Declaration For New Mexico - Associated Press

President Barack Obama has signed a disaster declaration to provide federal aid to New Mexico for mid-September flooding and storm damage.

The White House says the federal assistance will supplement state and local recovery efforts in the affected areas.

According to the White House, the declaration means federal funding is available on a cost-sharing basis with state and local governments and certain nonprofits for emergency work and repair or replacement of damaged facilities.

The counties where the funding is available are Catron, Chaves, Cibola, Colfax, Eddy, Guadalupe, Los Alamos, McKinley, Mora, Sandoval, San Miguel, Santa Fe, Sierra, Socorro, and Torrance.

The White House also says federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

Jail Inmate Mistakenly Released In Dona Ana County - Associated Press and The Las Cruces Sun News

Authorities in southern New Mexico are looking for a Chaparral man mistakenly released from the Dona Ana County jail in Las Cruces.

According to the Sheriff's Office, 23-year-old Humberto Escajeda was mistakenly released last week when he was re-arrested while already in custody in another case.

The Sheriff's Office says what it called a "lapse of communication" allowed Escajeda to go free between when his traffic citations were paid and when he was processed on a no-bond warrant on an aggravated-robbery charge in Texas.

Escajeda now also faces a felony charge of escape from a peace officer.

He is described as 5-foot-11, about 180 pounds with black hair and brown eyes.