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Chemical Company To Test ABQ Homes For Toxins

Homes in the vicinity of the TCE plume

A company that leaked toxic dry cleaning chemicals into the groundwater near downtown Albuquerque is planning to test the air in nearby homes to see if the chemicals pose a health risk to people living on top of the contamination. 

The New Mexico Environment Department discovered the plume of Trichloroethylene, or TCE, in the 1990’s. TCE is a poisonous chemical that can evaporate underground and rise as gas into homes and buildings. But no testing of homes on top of the mile and a half long plume of contamination has taken place, and no final cleanup strategy has been developed.

That’s set to change soon—in emails sent to residents and state legislators, the environment department said the business responsible for the chemical spill is now working on a cleanup plan and will be testing the air in several dozen homes to see if any toxic gases are present.

The environment department emails say the state will issue a public notice during the next stage of the cleanup process. That should happen in about six months.



Ed Williams came to KUNM in 2014 by way of Carbondale, Colorado, where he worked as a public radio reporter covering environmental issues. Originally from Austin, Texas, Ed has reported on environmental, social justice, immigration and Native American issues in the U.S. and Latin America for the Austin American-Statesman, Z Magazine, NPR’s Latino USA and others. In his spare time, look for Ed riding his mountain bike in the Sandias or sparring on the jiu-jitsu mat.
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