EPA Modeling Details Threat of NM Jet Fuel Spill

Jan 14, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — It could be 30 years before a huge plume of contamination at Kirtland Air Force Base reaches the nearest drinking water wells in New Mexico's largest city.

That finding is part of a draft report released yesterday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in response to a public records request filed by the watchdog group Citizen Action.

The report's author, Scott Ellinger, modeled several scenarios in an effort to determine movement of the plume, which consists of jet fuel and a chemical called EDB.

While it will likely be some time before the contamination reaches city wells, there's uncertainty around the speed at which it will reach a smaller well operated by Albuquerque's VA hospital.

Ellinger says it would be prudent for officials to tackle the contamination sooner rather than later.