ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, joined U.S. Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham (N.M.-01), U.S. Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James, and state, local, and military officials at Kirtland Air Force Base (KAFB) to mark the first time that contaminated groundwater associated with the Kirtland Bulk Fuels Facility leak has been extracted and treated, and to acknowledge the work of the teams involved in achieving this milestone.
“I drink the water from the Water Utility Authority’s Ridgecrest wells. My kids and my neighbors drink that water. I know firsthand the urgency that so many residents in the Southeast Heights have felt on this issue,” said Sen. Heinrich in his remarks. “State, federal, Air Force, and local community leaders are able to celebrate this milestone, that already a million gallons of precious water has been treated.”
Last year, Senators Heinrich and Tom Udall and Representative Lujan Grisham secured key commitments from the Air Force to clean up the fuel spill at KAFB. Later, the Air Force outlined a specific plan to remove contaminants by installing several "pump and treat" extraction wells.
The goal of the cleanup is to ensure public drinking water wells in the vicinity of the base remain safe for consumption, and that the plume is reduced in size and contaminants are brought within public health standards.