Good Example Of Kirtland Air Force Base Oil Spill In Albuquerque New Mexico Essay
In Albuquerque New Mexico 24 million gallons of jet fuel has leaked at Kirtland Air Force Base, possibly contaminating the underground aquifer the city relies on for water (“KAFB Fuel Spill”). The jet fuel is toxic, and contains an additive called ethylene dibromide, which the EPA calls “extremely toxic” causing potential organ damage, kills sperm cells, and can increase the risk of cancer (McCleery). The leak started in the late 1950’s and was discovered in 2000. The Air Force initially denied the problem, and did not create a cleanup plan until 2005. As late as 2012, the Air Force and city officials were “still arguing about whether the spill is something they need to get involved with” (Gerken). The New Mexico Environment Department and Air Force conducted safety studies, assuring the public it would take thirty years for the spill to reach drinking water. However, activist group Citizen Action New Mexico staged protests and filed a lawsuit against the Air Force and its subsidiary Sandia National Labs for not issuing a five year progress report. The lawsuit is pending. The Air Force, NMED, and government officials were not responsive to public concerns early in the process. However, pressure from activists and reports from the EPA indicate that the situation is “out of crisis mode” (Philips). Cleanup has begun, but is complicated and may take decades (Reed). The Air Force has spent over 50 million on the spill so far, and the costs will eventually be much higher (McCleery).
Gerken, James. "Kirtland Air Force Base Jet Fuel Spill Threatens Albuquerque Water Supply." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 20 July 2012. Web. 10
"KAFB Fuel Spill." ABQ Aquifer Project. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2015.
McClerry, Kathleen. "Does Decades-long Fuel Leak Threaten Drinking Water Safety in Albuquerque?" PBS. PBS, 13 May 2014. Web. 10 Apr. 2015.
Philips, Ari. "Decades-Old Underground Jet Fuel Leak In New Mexico Still Decades
Reed, Ollie. "'Milestone' in Kirtland Air Force Base Fuel Spill Cleanup."Military.com.
N.p., 26 Mar. 2015. Web. 10 Apr. 2015.
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