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Jerry Aragon Ph.D (Phunny humor Doctor)

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Chemicals! Another Love Canal In the Making?
by Jerry Aragon Ph.D (Phunny humor Doctor)   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Posted: Sunday, May 01, 2011

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May 1, 2011: The headlines in the Albuquerque Journal reads: 'Chemical Traces In New Test Wells' For the young people out there, and people around the world...the Love Canal tragedy was the worst man-made disaster in American history, whereby President Carter (1978) had to get involved and pull over 1,000 families out of the Love Canal.

City, county, state and federal officials at the highest levels are going to get more than 'egg on their face,' if this chemical dump at Kirtland A.F.B. gets out of hand

Albuquerque, New Mexico has a population of about 500,000, and the southeast heights, where the bases are located, have to be the most densely populated of the four quandrants of the city.  I live about one mile from the chemical dump, as it is pointed out in the newspaper...only walking distance of about 15 minutes. 

I was an activist during the rebellion against the government in the 1960's, and in 2011, I am still an activist, as I have been on this chemical dump problem since I first read about it in June, 2010.  I have collected about 10 newspaper articles during that time, which I have initiated a 'raising awareness' campaign and have mailed a booklet (over 40 pages) to the highest office-holders and offices in the state of New Mexico and the city of Albuquerque.  I've probably spent over $300.00 on my campaign, but it's been worth every penny and every minute. 

Sadly for Americans, there are thousands of chemical dumps all country, and you may be living near one in your neighborhood and not even know it.  It could be an air force base; an army post; a railroad; a manufacturer; a dairy farm...chemicals dumps come in all flavors and colors. 

And, the worst chemical dump of all, in my view, is the EPA itself (Environmental Protection Agency) who is in charge of keeping our water and air clean...but I think many times...the EPA just look the other way!  That's not good news for Americans, who have to breath the air and drink the water, no matter where it comes from.  There could be a chemical dump near you!

As I said earlier, my booklet has grown to over 40 pages with this project, and in one of the pages, I describe and compare how the Kirtland AFB chemical dump could result in another Love Canal whereby President Carter had to get involved and pull over 1,000 families out of the Canal.  

These booklets, in my raising awareness campaign, have been mailed to the highest office-holders in Albuquerque and in the state of New Mexico and include; seven federal judges; the mayor of Albuquerque; the governor of the state; the two Senators; the US Representative (Dist. 1); the city council members; the county commissioners; the environment dept/city and state; the state engineers office; the fire marshall's office; the county fire marshall; the city safety director; the Albuquerque Journal; the three network television stations; the city and state health departments; the CEO/Chamber of Commerce; the President of a local community college in the area (28,000 students); two hospitals in the area; my three doctors were notified if they see anything unusual in my blood tests, etc.

The 40 page booklet...with all the copies and mailing added up to about $150.00...and every penny and minute I've spent on this project was well worth it.  Therefore, I encourage people out there to get involved, if you think there is danger around your community.  There are things you can do, without a lot of expense, but you first have to get involved for your family and your community. 

To give the reader a better picture of what COULD happen, I thought I would include that page on the Love Canal, so the reader can better see the importance of becoming an activist, and trying to deal with the matter.  The page on the Love Canal reads; 

"From; Wikipedia.com: The Love Canal neighborhood in Niagra Falls, New York, which became subject of a nation and international attention, controversy, and eventual environmental notoriety, following the discovery of 21,000 tons of toxic waste that had been buried beneath the neighborhood by the Hooker Chemical Company.  

Hooker sold the site to the School Board of Niagara Falls, with the deed detailing the danger contained within the site, including liability limitations clause about the contamination.  The construction efforts of a housing development, combined with heavy rain storms released the chemical waste, which lead to a public health emergency and an urban planning scandal.  

From; EPA.govQuite simply...the Love Canal is one of the most appalling government tragedies in American history.  But, that's not the most disturbing fact.  What's worse...it cannot be regarded as an isolated event.  It could happen again anywhere in the country...unless we move expeditiously to prevent it.   

By 1953...the Hooker Chemical company, the then owners of the property (Love Canal) covered the Canal with hazardous waste and sold it to the School Board for one dollar.  It was a bad buy!  In the late 1950's, about 100 homes and an elementary school were built on the site.

On the first day of August 1978, the lead paragraph of the Front Page story read: 'Niagrara Falls, NY; Twenty five years after the Hooker Chemical company stopped using the Love Canas as an industrial dump, 82 different compounds were found; 11 of them suspected carcinogens, have been perculating upward through the soil, their drum containers rotting and leaching their contents into backyards and basements at 100 homes and public school built on the banks of the Canal.

Corroding waste disposal drums could be seen breading up through the ground of backyards.  Trees and gardens were turning black and dying; puddles of noxious substances were reported by the residents.  Still births; high-rate of miscarriages; and the residents were closely observed, because they detected high-white cell count...a possible precusor to leukemia. 

Worse yet...the complaints of the residents fell on deaf ears in the City of Niagara Falls and the state of New York, and that's why President Carter got involved, and removed over 1,000 families from the Love Canal.  This was the first man-made disaster that used federal funds...as opposed to a natural disaster such as a hurricane, earthquake, etc."

END OF LOVE CANAL DESCRIPTION;

The title of the article in the Albuquerque Journal on May 1, 2011 is "Chemical Traces In New Well Tests," and was written by John Fleck, a staff writer.

Throughout this article, I will enter 'My Two-Cents' as I have comments and opinions on this disgraceful matter that has been going on for over TEN years now, with no end in sight...placing the residents of the area at risk.  BTW this is a Front Page article in the newspaper.  The sub-title of the article reads; "Levels Low but KAFB Officials Are Concerned, Unsure of Source."  Below the sub-title, is a map, showing the neighborhood where the fuel leak has spread and the ground zero point.  The article reads;

"Fuel-related chemicals have been detected in all of the new wells drilled to determine the extent of groundwater contamination from a Kirtland Air Force Base jet fuel leak, Air Force records show.

The levels of chemicals found in wells located beyond the previously identified boundaries of the spreading jet fuel plume are within safe drinking water limits.  Air Force and state officials say more testing is needed to determine wheher it came from the jet fuel or some other source, but the Air Force acknowledges in reports filed with the state Environment Department that suspicious chemicals have geen found in every tested well."

MY TWO-CENTS (comments/opinions)  I smell a rat!  For crying out loud...all this has been going on for over TEN years...how much more testing do they have to do?  There has to be a scandal and cover-up in all this, for it to be going on for that long.  It was probably a whistle-blower or a reporter that got word of this so-called fuel-leak, which sounds more like swamp underground to me!

"The presence of the contamination, even at such low levels, as exposed a disagreement between the Air Force and local water utility officials about cleanup standards to be applied to the massive leak in order to protect metro area drinking water supplies.  The Air Force discovered in 1999 that an underground jet fuel pipe had been leaking possible for decades.  In 2007, jet-fuel was found in the groundwater 500 feet beneath the site, and state regulators estimate as many as 8 million gallons of jet-fuel may have leaked over the years. 

Efforts to identify the extent of contamination and come up with a cleanup plan have been underway ever since."

MY TWO-CENTS;  For crying out loud...how long does it take to come up with a plan?  Over TEN years?  By reading the other articles on the subject...the Air Force has been dragging its feet in this from the beginning, and putting the residents of the area in danger.  The state officials are, simply, a bunch of wimps...or should I say...WIMPS!  What could the Air Force have done, to have cost the taxpayer's over $200 million to clean up?  I see scandal and cover-up written all over this one!

"The possibility of contamination is more widespread than previously believed arose last month at a meeting of the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Water Authority, when representatives on INTERA, a consulting firm hired by the authority, revealed that a new well to the north of the known area of cantamination showed signs of chemicals related to jet-fuel. 

A subsequent Journal review of hundreds of pages of Air Force test data shows similar finds to the east, the south and west of the previously identified location of the contamination.  The Air Force has drilled and collected samples from 29 test wells to date, with more wells now being drilled.  Groundwater experts at INTERA, also reviewing the data, have come to the same conclusion.  'There are no wells that show the absence of fuel-related contaminents," John Sigda of INTERA said in an interview. 

Kirtland chief engineer Brent Wilson acknowledged the new findings raise legitimate suspicions about the possibility that jet fuel contamination may have reached the new well sites, but  said more work is needed before coming to any firm conclusions about how far the jet fuel has spread. Air Force officials say they are committed to dealing with the problem."

MY TWO-CENTS: (comments/opinions)  I don't believe the federal government; the state government; the county government or the city government on any issue.  The government at every level has lost all credibility with me...period!

"Contractors working for the Air Force are drilling 78 more wells in the area to better characterize how far the fuel spill as spread.  The tests conducted in October found gasoline-related chemicals and ethylene dibromide, a chemical used as a jet fuel additive, in a number of wells outside the previously identified spill boundaries, in one case 3,000 feet beyond where contamination had previously been reported. 

More testing will be needed to confirm those test results and determine whether the chemical came from the jet fuel leak, said Raj Solomon, deputy secretary of the New Mexico Environment Department.  'We haven't characterized that at this point in time,' Wilson said in an interview. 

The new tests highlight the fact there remains a great deal of uncertainty about how far the jet fuel has actually spread, said University of New Mexico engineering professor Bruce Thomson, head of UNM's Water Resources Program

In some cases, the new contamination findings have only shown up in a single test, and experts caution that more data is needed to be sure the water is actually contaminated.  'You need continuity in two tests,' Thomson said.

A new round of testing was done in February.  Air Force officials say the results should be available in late May.  Sigda acknowledged the need for further testing but said there is no other known explanation for the presence of fuel-related chemicals in so many area groundwater wells.  'It is unlikely that it came from other sources,' said Sigda.

Chemicals Found In New Test Wells...

History

"The Air Force discovered the fuel spill in 1999 when a pressure test on an underground fuel line showed a leak.  No one knows how long it had been leaking, but state and federal officials say between 2 million and 8 million gallons may have seeped into the ground undiscovered over a period of decades.  The leaking line was taken out of service and monotoring and cleanup efforts began.  For years, state and federal officials believed the contamination was confined to soil beneath the site.  A system to pump it out of the soil and burn it off was installed in 2004, which officials thought would be sufficient to deal with the contamination."

MY TWO-CENTS; This sounds like ring-around the rosie to me.  The enept state and the enept federal governments doing a great job of putting the residents of the area in danger.  After reading all this 'road to nowhere' by both sides...I came to the conclusion that nothing was going to move along and the truth would never be know, unless a federal judge enters the picture.  This romper room display by both sides, tells me that if a federal judge doen't enter the picture...and SOON...there could be another Love Canal in the making!  This sounds like a captain-less ship going nowhere...and the residents of Albuquerque remain at risk! 

"That changed in 2007, when a test well found jet fuel had reached the groundwater triggering an escalating response by local, state and Air Force officials because the risk of contamination to Albuquerque's drinking water supply.

How clean is clean?

The discoveries have highlighted a growing conflict over cleanup standards between the Air Force and the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Water Authority, which is pushing the Air Force to try to ensure major Albuquerque drinking water well fields are not lost to the contamination.  The nearest test well with possible contamination is less than a mile from one of the water utility's water wells.  An Air Force drinking water well that is even closer has shown traces of fuel-related chemicals, but Air Force officials reported to the state that lubricants used in the big pump used to extract drinking water rather than just fuel contamination is a likely cause. 

The Air Force current plans call for efforts to clean up the groundwater to meet safe drinking water standards.  'That's a statutory regulatory standard,' said base chief engineer Wilson.  Maps the Air Force have presented to the public define the extent of the contamination in those terms, highlighting areas where levels of contamination exceed drinking water standards.  They do not highlight areas outside of that boundary where contamination has been found but at levels withing the safe drinking water standard. 

Water utility officials, however, argue that the presence of any contamination is a problem.  Water utility Chief Operating Officer John Stomp said that if any jet fuel contamination shows up in drinking water wells, even at levels below the legally mandated drinking water standard, the water utility would stop using those wells. 

The threat of contamination to Albuquerque's municipal drinking water wells is not imminent, said Bernalillo County Commissioner Maggie Hart-Stebbins, a member of the utility's board.  But water utility officials are pushing hard to get the mes cleaned up before it reaches the municipal wells.  'That is what we need to guard against,' Stebbins said."

END OF FRONT PAGE ARTICLE;
DATED MAY 1, 2011

It looks to me that the Air Force, is doing all it can to drag its feet, and find others to blame in its effort to mimimize its responsibility and accountibility, etc.

On another page in my (40 page) booklet, I placed the following;

LET THE FINGER-POINTING TOURNAMENT BEGIN:  Participants/contestants include the following;

The Mayor of Albuquerque; the governor of the state of New Mexico; the two Senators of New Mexico; the City Council members; the County Commissioners; the U.S. Attorney; the Attorney General of New Mexico; the County Manager; the KAFB Base Commander; the US Representative (dist.1); seven federal judges who sit on the sidelines yawning it all away...sitting in their ivory towers, looking down at the unwashed masses in Albuquerque, and saying "The safety of the residents...it's not my jurisdiction," as the circus continues on the base! 

Question: If the people at Kirtland AFB cannot handle the fuel mess THEY created...how in the hell are they going to handle the nuclear weapons stored on the base?  It's time for the base to clean up the mess THEY made...and take your nuclear weapons and your attitude and close the base...period!   

For those of you who want to share their experiences or expertise, can contact me;
Jerry Aragon;
humordoctormd.gmail.com

SITE MAP For Hopelessly Lost Souls;
Copyright; 2011; Jerry Aragon; The Humor Doctor
Website name; humordoctormd
http://humordoctormd.homestead.com

 

Web Site: humordoctormd



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