Wednesday, May 14, 2014

NEW MEXICO - Decades Long Fuel Leak Near Albuquerque

"Does decades-long fuel leak threaten drinking water safety in Albuquerque?" PBS NewsHour 5/13/2014


GWEN IFILL (NewsHour):  Next, the story of a massive spill of jet fuel at a military base.  Officials have known about it for at least 15 years, but there’s still a debate about its size, where it’s going, and what to do about it.

Special correspondent Kathleen McCleery reports from New Mexico.

KATHLEEN MCCLEERY:  The trouble started here at Kirtland Air Force Base more than six decades ago.  The sprawling base, about the size of Washington, D.C., sits on the southeast border of Albuquerque, the state’s largest city.

It’s home to the Air Force’s Nuclear Weapons Center, as well as a special operations wing.

Colonel Jeff Lanning is commander of the mission support group at the base.

COL. JEFF LANNING, Kirtland Air Force Base:  It was in this area we found fuel actually coming to the surface, and we knew we had some kind of a problem at that point.

KATHLEEN MCCLEERY:  That problem was a leak dating to the 1950s, when railcars and trucks delivered fuel to pipelines, powering planes at the growing base.

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