Official: Progress made to reign in jet fuel contamination

Kirtland AFB

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) – The head of the New Mexico Environment Department says a massive plume of jet fuel at the edge of Albuquerque is shrinking.

Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn says an extraction well has removed more than 13 million gallons of contaminated water over the past six months.

Another 5,000 tons of soil have been removed from the site at Kirtland Air Force Base since cleanup began two years ago, and more than a half-million gallons of contamination have been sucked from beneath the surface using a vapor-extraction system.

But two state senators and the New Mexico Environmental Law Center say progress has been too slow. They’re threatening a lawsuit.

Flynn says it was the Martinez administration that began pressuring the Air Force, and that critics should have sued years ago when the plume was first discovered.

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