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ATSDR Press Room

Public Comments Sought for Kirtland Air Force Base Health Consultation


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Friday, July 12, 2013

ATLANTA—The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) is seeking public comment on a health consultation evaluating whether fuels leaked from an underground pipeline at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, NM are a public health hazard.

ATSDR scientists will discuss the health consultation and answer questions at a public meeting of the Albuquerque Bernallio County Water Protection Advisory Board. The public meeting will be July 30, 2013 at 5:30 pm at the Cesar Chavez Community Center, 7505 Kathryn Ave. SE, Albuquerque, NM 87108.

For more than 30 years, from the early 1960s to 1999, aviation gasoline and jet fuels leaked from underground pipes at the Kirtland Air Force Base bulk fuels facility. The Air Force, who identified the leak, requested that ATSDR evaluate potential health effects from human exposures to contaminants from the leaked fuels.

ATSDR identified four pathways through which people could have been exposed:

  • Groundwater at water-supply wells
  • Vapors in indoor air at bulk fuels facility buildings on the base
  • Vapors in indoor air at the Veterans Administration (VA) hospital near the base
  • Emissions to outdoor air from the soil vapor extraction system at the bulk fuels facility

The agency concluded:

  • Base personnel and area residents have not been exposed to leaked fuels from water supply wells. Future exposures are possible, but they will be prevented if remedial actions by the Air Force are implemented as planned.
  • Benzene in the air at the VA hospital and in bulk fuel facility buildings is not expected to harm people’s health, according to the health consultation. The levels of benzene in the air were in the range considered normal in U.S. residences.
  • Emissions from the soil vapor extraction system on the base are treated before being released and are not expected to harm people’s health.

To read the health consultation visit: http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/hac/pha/HCPHA.asp?State=NM

A copy of the health consultation can be reviewed during regular hours at Central New Mexico Community College, Montoya Campus Library, J Building, Room 123, 4700 Morris NE,
Albuquerque, NM 87111.

ATSDR will accept public comments on this health consultation until August 26, 2013.

Comments on the document must be made in writing and those received during the public comment period will be addressed in the final version. Comments (without the names of persons who submitted them) and ATSDR’s responses to the comments will appear in an appendix to the final health consultation. Names of those who submit comments will be subject to release should requests be made under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.

Send comments to: ATSDRRecordsCenter@cdc.gov, or mail to:

ATSDR Records Center
Attn: Rolanda Morrison
Re: Kirtland Air Force Base Bulk Fuels Facility – Albuquerque, NM
4770 Buford Highway, NE (MS F-09)
Atlanta, Georgia 30341

For more information about ATSDR’s work in Albuquerque, NM, community members can call 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636).

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ATSDR, a federal public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, evaluates the potential for adverse human health effects of exposure to hazardous substances in the environment.

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Related News Releases For Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

 

ATSDR Releases Public Health Assessment For The Fruit Avenue Site
Release Date: Thursday, October 26, 2000
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, announced today the release of its public health assessment for the Fruit Avenue site in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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