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Air Force contractors begin using pump-and-treat system to clean up jet fuel plume

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ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico — Gov. Susana Martinez says a pump-and-treat system designed to clean up a massive plume of jet fuel at the edge of Albuquerque is now in use.

She made the announcement Wednesday and praised her administration for putting pressure on the U.S. Air Force to clean up the plume.

First detected in 1999, the fuel leak is believed to have been seeping into the ground for decades. Estimates of the amount of fuel spilled range from 6 million to 24 million gallons.

The greatest concern has been that the spill would contaminate drinking water wells in the Southeast Heights. The treatment system is part of an effort to keep the contamination from reaching those wells.

After treatment, some of the water will be used on Kirtland Air Force Base's golf course.

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