New Mexico signs off on Air Force plan to clean up jet fuel contamination at Kirtland

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ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico — State environmental regulators have signed off on a preliminary proposal by the U.S. Air Force to clean up a huge plume of jet fuel before the contamination reaches Albuquerque's drinking water wells.

The Air Force submitted its plan earlier this month. The New Mexico Environment Department announced its approval in a letter sent Wednesday to officials at Kirtland Air Force Base.

The plan calls for drilling a new well designed to extract contaminated water so it can be treated and eventually used as reclaimed water on base property. Other monitoring wells would also be installed.

State regulators have asked for weekly updates and plan to make unannounced site visits while the work is underway.

The fuel came from a decades-old leak from underground pipes at a Kirtland aircraft fuel-loading facility.

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