Copyright © 2014 Albuquerque Journal
The newest study estimating how fast contaminants from a Kirtland Air Force Base fuel spill would reach Albuquerque drinking water wells gives one of the longest time lines yet – 40 years – but a consultant’s independent review of the same data suggests that may be overly optimistic.
The 40-year estimate is from a new Air Force-funded contingency planning study, done jointly with the Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority. However, a Water Authority consultant who examined the same study suggests that the contamination is likely to move more quickly. The consultant’s review said more analysis is needed to know how much faster the contaminants will move.
The new analysis is the latest in a flurry of sometimes conflicting estimates of how long it might take the contamination, primarily a toxic chemical known as ethylene dibromide, to reach drinking water wells.