Investigation activities determined that the fuel contamination migrated north of Kirtland AFB. In order to comply with New Mexico Environment Department-Hazardous Waste Bureau requirements, groundwater and soil vapor monitoring wells were installed both on and off base to better understand the extent of contamination and how far contamination has migrated from the original site.
Air Force priorities for the project in 2015 and beyond are:
1) protect drinking water supply wells;
2) collapse the EDB plume;
3) remediate the LNAPL;
4) soil vapor extraction (SVE) in the source area.
While the Air Force develops and executes a long-term strategy to achieve these goals, it is also pursuing interim measures to immediately address contamination.
To date, 134 groundwater monitoring wells and 284 soil vapor monitoring points have been installed by the Air Force to ensure the extent of the plume is identified.
LNAPL has not been identified in monitoring wells for the last two years and data show the benzene plume is stable and not migrating.
A detailed risk assessment, to be completed this year, will address potential risks to people and the environment – results will be in the RCRA Facility Report which will be made available to the public later this year.
Contaminated soil (4,822 tons) above screening levels, was excavated in phases beginning in 1999 with the last excavation in 2015.
In 2003, the Air Force installed the first soil vapor extraction (SVE) system on-base - between 2003 and 2015, SVE has removed 550,000 gallons of fuel.
An additional 200,000 gallons of fuel and associated components have been removed through biodegradation (a process where naturally occurring bacteria breakdown contaminants into non-toxic products such as carbon dioxide, water, and ammonia).
The interim measure pump and treat system installed in 2015 is designed to capture and treat the EDB in groundwater that has migrated off-base.
As of 1 March 2016, approximately 23.8 million gallons of groundwater have been pumped from the off-base groundwater contaminant plume and treated to remove 11,000 milligrams (mg) of EDB, and protected 58.5 million gallons of aquifer groundwater.
Project staff have participated in a total of 17 public events - five were sponsored by the project with the remainder as requests for presentations.
Investigation activities have defined the northern extent of the plume.