State To Present Cleanup Plan For Toxic Plume in Albuquerque

This map shows the extent of TCE contamination in the groundwater, as measured from monitoring wells. Other toxic dry cleaning chemicals—PCE and DCE—are also present in the plume, but are not included in this map.
-Rashad Mahmood, KUNM

  • Sarah Trujillo
  • Wednesday, May 24, 2017

New Mexico environment officials say they’ll present a plan to clean up a toxic underground plume at a public meeting Thursday evening in Albuquerque.

The decades-old spill of dry cleaning solvents is underneath parts of the Sawmill and Wells Park neighborhoods near Downtown Albuquerque. The chemicals could harm people living above the plume.

Democratic state lawmaker Javier Martínez has expressed concerns about potential risks to public health.

“We expect a full report,” Martínez said. “And from what I understand, it sounds like things are moving in a very positive direction.”

The state knew about the spill for decades, but didn’t aggressively pursue a cleanup plan from Laun-Dry, the company responsible, until KUNM reported on the plume and community members spoke out.

State environment officials and representatives of Laun-Dry plan to be available at Thursday’s meeting to answer questions and take feedback on their efforts.

The meeting will take place Thursday, May 25, in the Community Room of the Sawmill Lofts at 5:30pm (Mountain Standard Time).

KUNM’s Public Health New Mexico project is funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the McCune Charitable Foundation.

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