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New Mexico Science

Science, climate, weather and water from a New Mexico perspective

Albuquerque water board to discuss Air Force jet fuel spill

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The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority board will get an update tomorrow evening (Wed. 10/19/2011) on the risks from a Kirtland Air Force Base jet fuel spill now spreading through groundwater beneath Albuquerque’s southeast heights.

The meeting (pdf agenda here) begins at 5 p.m. at Albuquerque city hall.

A staff report prepared for the meeting (sorry I can’t share, it doesn’t seem to be on line yet), raises a number of concerns:

  • changes in the test methodology being used to measure some of the contamination makes it difficult to determine whether contamination that had previously showed up in some test wells is still there (I’ve asked the Air Force to clarify this issue – I’ll let you know what they say).
  • Air Force reports don’t fully present the known boundaries of the contamination’s spread
  • newly discovered contamination deeper in the aquifer beneath the worst areas of contamination
  • increasing levels of several key contaminants in wells between the spill area and the Water Utility’s nearest drinking water wells.

More background on the latest data in recent Journal reports:

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