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Albuquerque Drinking Fuel, uh, I Mean.. Water?

Posted by Pete | Posted in News | Posted on 07-10-2014


The USAF promised to take care of the fuel in our drinking water aquifer, once, twice, three times….I don’t know for sure how many times they have promised to start the clean up. I’m hearing the jet fuel is less than a mile from one of the Albuquerque drinking water wells….Now, it is for sure, they say, that the clean up will get started in 2015…..We can put men on the moon, let men live in a space station for months, resupplying them on a routine basis, harness the atom, build nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers, build and fly pilotless aircraft that deliver bombs to targets miles away, cameras that can spy on its citizens from 17 miles up, and I don’t know what all else….but we cannot clean up underground water….our drinking water….they cannot, I repeat they, that is the cotton picking United States Air Force, cannot clean up a fuel spill under Kirtland Air Force Base. Maybe up to 24 million gallons of jet fuel, just running around underground, free  for the taking, refined and ready to go, certified and made to Air Force specs, just laying there waiting to be injected into some high flying jet, well, or maybe some child’s belly…which ever comes first….Does the Air Force care?….I don’t reckon….Finish this tour of duty and move on, huh? That seems to be the feeling. Oh, where is Obama playing golf today? Or better, where is the base commander playing?… Pres, if you are coming to Albuquerque in the future, you might want to bring bottled water……Or crack the whip….

Comments (4)

Don’t you think that you are overreacting just a little. A mile of sand, rock, and soil is a very long absorption column in scientific terms. That much sand, rock, and soil can absorb a lot of organic material. Jet fuel can do a lot of degradation in the time it takes it to traverse that much sand, rock, and soil. Of greater concern, in my opinion, is the migration danger of all the, mostly unknown, no telling how toxic material, that went into the old Sandia Corporation landfield, now closed, located south of KAFB. There is no telling what is buried in that landfield since most of it was put there in the early days of the EPA when the general feeling was that anything buried underground is out-or-sight, out-of-mind, and safe and sound. As far as jet fuel is concerned, at least everyone knows what they are dealing with; and once it begins to show up in the drinking water if it ever does, everyone will know it almost instantly. That is not the case of many, many other toxic pollutants that was handled quite sloppily in the days and years following WWII. Even in the one laboratory where I worked on the old Sandia Base in the late Sixties, there was not much concern what we poured down the drains; material now considered toxic like chloroform, carbon tetrachloride. not even to mention the carcasses of all the dead, irradiated sheep and dogs that went into some nearby landfield, though I am not sure which one. The radioactive material was more tightly controlled, but it was done under the old wartime AEC regulations and rules, which were much less stringent than those of the more modern NRC. Under the old AEC, if one didn’t drop dead with radiation poision almost instantly, that person was okay. There was no concern for the carcinogenic affect 40-years down the road. After all, in those days, most people didn’t live much longer than that.

No sir, I sure don’t think I am over reacting. I think there is a terrible lack of concern from the USAF. Water is in very short supply here and we need all of it. Those boys are not worried at all. Kind of like you I guess….

I didn’t mean to insinuate that you were overreacting. No one ever over reactes where their drinking water is concerned. The flyboys at Kirtland are there only for two or four year tours of duty. By the same token, it is just as hard for them to get excited about pollution problems that were 10 to 30 years in the making; or, for that matter, the cost of clean ups that will require nearly as long, especially when that same cost will eliminate many of their own toys upon which their very jobs and careers are based. That is exactly the reason why such cleanups had best be left to the EPA and the appropriate state environmental agencies. The military is trained to fight wars, create pollution for the purpose of winning those wars, not the long term process of cleaning up the mess. In a day when our war fighters are faced with an enemy who is quite willing to blow everyone to oblivion along with themselves and cilivians should not be encumbered with day to day worries of long term cleanups. The clean up will happen one way or another. The EPA, of necessity, just moves more slowly than some would like.

Let us hope that clean up will one day happen. If not, well, …..

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