Air Force Says Kirtland AFB Fuel Contamination Cleanup Will Take Years

Air Force Says Kirtland AFB Fuel Contamination Cleanup Will Take Years

Air Force Deputy Assistant Secretary Mark Correll said Monday that the service remains committed to cleaning up groundwater contaminated from jet fuel at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., but it will take years to complete, the Albuquerque Journal reported.

Correll told the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority that the service is determined “to make sure no one in this city or on Kirtland Air Force Base will drink water that is EDB (ethylene dibromide) contaminated.”

He added there are no funding issues related to the cleanup, though funding “fluctuates” yearly based on project needs. The Air Force has spent $125 million on the cleanup effort.

Officials first detected the contamination in 1999 on surface water near a jet fueling facility, eventually finding holes in underground pipes that carry the fuel. Millions of gallons had been slowly leaking for decades.

Correll said no new fuel leak contamination has been found in wells used to detect problems or drinking water wells, noting that drinking water wells are tested monthly.

Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Enjoli Saunders

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