KUNM

Kirtland Bulk Fuels Facility

Hannah Colton / KUNM

A pump-and-treat system is the main way that Kirtland Air Force Base has been cleaning up a jet fuel spill they discovered back in the ‘90s. For years, the treated water has gone either straight back into the aquifer or to the base’s golf course. Now, Kirtland is seeking permission for a third option—to dump water into the nearby Tijeras Arroyo.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Kirtland Air Force Base will host an open house Thursday evening about their efforts to clean up groundwater contamination from a decades-old jet fuel spill. 

Hannah Colton / KUNM

A coalition of New Mexico lawmakers, advocates and residents say the U.S. Air Force has been too slow to respond to a decades-old jet fuel spill at Kirtland Air Force Base. It’s been 20 years since the spill was discovered and the coalition announced Friday that they plan to file a lawsuit to try to get the military to intensify cleanup efforts. 

Hannah Colton / KUNM

To hear Kirtland Air Force Base officials tell it, the cleanup of a decades-old jet fuel spill in Southeast Albuquerque is going great. Their pump-and-treat system is shrinking a major swath of the pollution in the city’s aquifer. But there’s a long history of distrust between the military and the community on this project, and there’s still a lot more to clean up.