This study recommends closure of children’s’ playground because of direct contact with soil contamination. We meet the next week with Albuquerque City Councilors to discuss the closure of Bull Head Park where 8 million gallons of jet fuel leaked into the aquifer over 40 years. Officials have not began to contemplate the presence of EDB nor will they take precautionary measures to close park.

http://www.taftlaw.com/news/publications/detail/535-idem-s-new-risc-updates-under-house-enrolled-act-1162

the Precautionary approach is needed.  this is the perfect examples that the needs of the few out weighs the good of the many.

60,000 jobs in New Mexico for oil and gas industry and at Kirtland Air Force base.

Yet the other 2 million people suffer the effects of all politicos looking the other way for so long. they too have traded the future generations for the short-term life style. It is likened to Japan’s buy in of Nuclear Energy, Japan paid 10 yen and are getting 2 yen for their trouble, because of lost trade, lost tourism, costly rebuilding and permanent environmental damage that has contaminated water and food supplies due to the damaged nuclear reactor core. The reactors that are burning still after weeks of spitting at with seawater will soon meltdown.

Meltdowns like this do not go to China, reference to the movie the China Syndrome,  what happens is that the core falls into the aquifer and destroying the drinking water forever, but now before exploding similar hydrogen bomb.

All this  has the potetnial of happening here and on another level it is happening here with 8 m gallons of fuel destroying the drinking water aquifer.

But the destruction is more deceiving here  with us drinking, bathing and cooking  in the potential EDB  and other VOC’s has long-term devastating effects as well.

Elaine Cimino

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Posted by: indiesfaves | February 25, 2011

Slow the death train down and adapt to another way of life

Today we finally sent the letter to EPA, NMED and various local, state and national  politicians asking them to allow public participation and the voice of the people heard on this issue.  I have posted the letter  online for all who want  to read our complaint.

What does 8M gallons of fuel look like? 15 olympic-size swimming pools side-by-side and stack upon each other spread out over a mile in length and 1/2 mile wide.

There will be a lot of money thrown down the rabbit hole because the right questions are not asked, nor answered or they’re ignored.

When do we learn from Icarus’ tale that risk taking with nature isn’t something that is limitless, we have hit the wall in our ability to sustain humanity, just like Icarus we have flown to close to the sun and the tips of our wings are about to burn.

elaine Cimino Paiting with oil Beweswax and cooperand bronze metals pigments and feathers

Artwork by Elaine Cimino 48"x72" mixed media on canvas, oil, beeswax, feathers and copper and bronze metal pigment.

Our story is important because it is though the wheels of capitalism we are running the train right toward the cliff, with endless cost benefits analysis that only takes into account that which will keep the train moving in one direction. Only in this scenario, we cannot jump on to the horse running next to the train to make a safe get away like in a Hollywood movie. The choice really is about stopping the train because letting the train run over the cliff will allow the Earth’s biosphere to collapse and we all die.

It is the risk taking people are making and subjecting Earth to change for the worse. The same risks of dumping TCE, EDB radionuclides and other major contamination which is just now migrating off the Federal Reservation of Kirkland Air Force Base in our local communities. These are my concerns that I have been writing about, this is the first one to impact subdivisions and playgrounds, hospitals, and the risks taken are threatening everything in its path.

Our health, education, environment and the right of nature to exist to benefit all life is what is sells to the  Department of Defense, the military and the National Laboratories, all for J.O.B.S. employment and the perpetuation of the  American life style as it exists. Our comforts on the backs of whomever has resources we need to drive our lifestyle. It  is what is  driving the contaminants in the air with climate change and in the groundwater. The militaristic machine  has eaten health, education, homes and the middle class, because we need to have our life style at all costs, that cost benefit analysis instead of precautionary principle which an economy can be built upon. We continue on this mad path even if it means creating the Alberta Tar Sands destroying the lungs of the Earth or the BP Oil Spill a tear in the fabric of the ocean floor, or 10-years now of endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We our bombarded from countless pollutants, issue of habitat loss, health crisis and soon the lack of water, which will cause massive die off on this planet. This is the death train that people don’t want to look at.

This is the Big Picture here. This Big Picture exists of millions of smaller stories each of us have who are reaching out, hoping someone is listening. It is these small stories of what people are doing to make the shift toward adaptation to a better way of life that works that is in sync with nature.

I am an artist, I taught k-12 and college art studio classes and continuing education teaching people to learn to see for 20 years. There is nothing better I would like to do than to make movies, tell stories, create paintings and do children’s book illustrations. I live simply and I for one cannot with good conscience do this without thinking what if I could have done something to help our children survive on this Earth. We are the last generation that can do anything aobut climate change. Economy is driving continued risking taking that streams the train along the rails.

Change is sometimes difficult and the ones we need to make to stop a suicide economy and a civilization from going extinct. It means overcoming greed and hubris, it means creating a new archetype, creating the new meaning for a cultural shift and showing people how this can be done.

Yes, we can do it because I believe the people are strong enough to make these changes. I have to think of that, I have to work for that because the alternative is too unbearable to be.

In the next few months we are embarking on a new journey . We our going to show how people can adapt to a new lifestyle and create a new economy.  It also means cleaning up the excrement in the wasteland that this economy creates.  I have include and link to Naomi Klein Risk Taking TED lecture that I hope will inspire you to check back in every now and then to see how we are going to work toward a better future, than what is on the horizon now.

 Final KAFB Jet Fuel Plume EPA Oversight Request for public participation

Posted by: indiesfaves | February 25, 2011

Hydrological Cycle or the Water Cycle affected by Climate Change

Hydrological Cycle or the Water Cycle affected by Climate Change

Water 101: A familiar hydrological or water cycle Figure 2

file:///Users/elafile:///Users/elainecimino/Pictures/hydrological%20cycles.jpg

Figure <!–[if supportFields]> SEQ Figure \* ARABIC <![endif]–>1<!–[if supportFields]><![endif]–> Hydrological Cycle source GAO report Freshwater Systems

The water cycle is a system that regulates how water is distributed and it is the that disruption of this cycle and the mismanagement of fresh water that is causing water scarcity throughout of the world affecting many level of drought and causing flooding in other areas.

The hydrology system is supposed to work like this; the wind transports water vapor over the oceans; gathering condensation through what is call evaporation. As these water vapors multiply becoming condensation, which is a heating of the atmosphere from both over land and oceans. Over land water vapor also rises through evapotranspiration. This comes from earth, plants, trees and other vegetation. The water vapors form clouds and then release precipitation. Precipitation can come in the form of rain, sleet, hail, snow. Storms bring extra moisture to specific areas. Water in the form of rain, ice and snow is a source of fresh water. This is stored in the snowpak in the winter, in the spring when the snow melts; this is what municipalities, agriculture and industry use for drinking water, irrigation and manufacturing. What water that does not evaporates, transpires or seeps into the ground as aquifer recharge forms stream and rivers. This is called surface water runoff. Some of this surface runoff infiltrates and percolates into the soil and becomes ground water flow. Other snowmelt run-off becomes streams and rivers and this stream flow returns to the ocean. The radiant heat from the sun and reflecting heat exchanges from the Earth’s vegetation then supports a radiative exchange in which the vegetation grows and releases water that has been moisture in the soil feeding the plants and trees allowing for growth. Droughts arise from long periods of no or low rainfall and droughts are part of a natural cycle.[i] The hydrological cycle is made up of vast amount of oceans, glaciers, rivers, wetlands, forests and grasslands, lakes and deep aquifers and of all this, only one hundred of 1% is both fresh water and renewed by the hydrological cycle.[ii] Each part of this cycle has ocean, earth, atmosphere scientists studying the effects of the cycle of water. The benefits of clean water on society are multiple that includes landscapes that provide freshwater ecosystems, floods that recharge ground water or provides water to fields that deliver nutrients to the soils and carry off harmful salts making it a vital area for agriculture. This exchange creates watersheds, bioregions and biological ecological systems upon which all life is reliant. From time and immemorial there have been droughts when climate patterns shifted and impacts on food, energy and lifestyles were experienced. Sandra Postel has illustrated in several writings that many previous civilizations committed “self-inflicted ecological suicide”[iii] destroying the ecosystems that supported and sustained them. The ongoing climate change is a systemic disruption that requires a change in our behavior in order for it to adjust itself. To continue with our lifestyles, as we know it will increase intensity and the cause perpetual drought. The Earth is a living organism that is ridding itself of the cause of the systemic changes. Either we will act in time to head off irreversible climate change or we will live with the consequence of technology and the Industrial Revolution. Human beings activities have affected the world’s water patterns and our small actions (microcosm) have had consequences on the macrocosm, our Earth. [iv]

What is Global Warming?

The term Global Warming describes the observed and projected increase in globally averaged temperatures over time. Because the global climate is a dynamic system, global warming has occurred in the past and will occur in the future. Using surface station temperature measurements and satellite-based measurements, researchers have identified an increasing trend in the global average surface air temperatures. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has determined that this increase can be attributed to a combination of natural climate variations and human factors. One of the leading causes under investigation is the greenhouse effect of gasses in the atmosphere.

Figure <!–[if supportFields]> SEQ Figure \* ARABIC <![endif]–>2<!–[if supportFields]><![endif]–> The Greenhouse effect

Credit: The Science of Climate Change, Working Group 1 of the 2nd Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, UNEP and WMO (United Nations Environment Programme, GRID-Arendal and http://www.climateark.org)

What is the Greenhouse Effect?

The Greenhouse Effect obtained its name from the behavior of a greenhouse. A greenhouse’s glass allows shortwave radiation to enter but then prohibits outgoing long-wave radiation from exiting, thus warming the air in the greenhouse. Although the behavior of the atmosphere is different from that of a greenhouse, the result is similar and thus the warming effect was termed the Greenhouse Effect. If it wasn’t for the natural greenhouse effect, almost all radiation would be returned to space and the average surface temperature would be around 0°C. Atmospheric gasses that cause this effect include water vapor (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). If the amount of these gasses in the atmosphere increases, then the greenhouse effect will be magnified and warmer global temperatures would result.

The evidence of human activities effect of climate change is overwhelming. In report for the U.S. Global Change Research Program, “Water: the Potential Consequence of Climate Variability and Change of the Water Resources of the United States,” that was supported by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S Geological Survey raises a wide range of concerns from circulation models.

Among the noteworthy findings in this report: ‘Problems in increased rapid runoff especially with changes of precipitation in semi-arid and arid climates. The timing and the amount of (earlier) run-off will vary by amount of snowfall. This will result in a reduction of spring and summer runoff, increases in winter run-off and earlier peak run-off are all going to be common experiences. The report warns that the management and operating rules have not been adequately assessed to meet these changes. With increased precipitation the “Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded in 1996, that there will be adverse impact of drought” and “ there is more evidence nor that flooding is likely to become a larger problem in many temperate regions requiring adaptations not one to droughts and chronic water shortages, but also to floods and associated damages, raising concerns about dam and levee failure.” Threshold and non-linear events are likely to occur this includes a fall in lake levels that cuts off outflows or separates a lake into parts and increases in flood intensity that passes specific damage thresholds and exceedance of water quality limits. As sea levels rise it will adversely affect groundwater aquifers and freshwater coastal ecosystems. There will be more sea saltwater groundwater intrusions in the future. Global and regional increases in air temperature and the associated increases of water temperature are likely to lead to adverse changes in water quality, even if there is an absence of changes in precipitation. Lakes will have variable stress including changes in lake levels and salinity, temperature range fluctuations that will result in increase nutrient cycling and productivity. This may lower dissolved oxygen and degraded water quality. There are and will be more affects on freshwater systems depending on the nature of the change and the scope of the intentional interventions by humans. Already there is a wide range of vegetation patterns, possible extinctions of fish species already close to their thermal limits, declining area of wetlands with reductions in waterfowl populations, concerns about stream health and major habitat loss. The report indicates that there is little known about groundwater basins or for ground water recharge and how this will effect water quality. Some studies suggest that some regional groundwater storage volumes are very sensitive to even modest changes in available recharge. [v]’The lack of knowledge due to funding collapse of observational field studies on ecosystems which has put the United States in a poor position on making recommendations as to solutions and policies on land, water resources and existing infrastructures.[vi]


[i] Peter Gleick USGS and Pacific Institute: “Water: The Consequences of Climate Variability and Change for the Water Resources of the United States.” September, 2000; Report of the Water Sector Assessment Team of the National Assessment of the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change; Pacific Institute and the US Department of the Interior through the U.S. Geological Survey. Hydrologic cycle USGS website http://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/circ1139/htdocs/natural_processes_of_ground.htm

[ii] Sandra Postel “Liquid Assets: A critical need to safeguard freshwater systems”

[iii] Sandra Postel Liquid assets: page 10-16

[iv] Gleick et al. “The World’s Water 2006-2007 the Biennial Report on Freshwater Resources,” chap 4 Scarcity Island Press Ibid

[v] Peter H. Gleick et al U.S. Global Change Research Program, “Water: the Potential Consequence of Climate Variability and Change of the Water Resources of the United States,” that was supported by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S Geological Survey.

[vi] CCSP Report, Water Resources Chapter 4 pg 149

Figure 1   Hydrological Cycle source GAO report Freshwater Systems

The water cycle is a system that regulates how water is distributed and it is the that disruption of this cycle and the mismanagement of fresh water that is causing water scarcity throughout of the world affecting many level of drought and causing flooding in other areas.

The hydrology system is supposed to work like this; the wind transports water vapor over the oceans; gathering condensation through what is call evaporation. As these water vapors multiply becoming condensation, which is a heating of the atmosphere from both over land and oceans. Over land water vapor also rises through evapotranspiration. This comes from earth, plants, trees and other vegetation. The water vapors form clouds and then release precipitation. Precipitation can come in the form of rain, sleet, hail, snow. Storms bring extra moisture to specific areas. Water in the form of rain, ice and snow is a source of fresh water. This is stored in the snowpak in the winter, in the spring when the snow melts; this is what municipalities, agriculture and industry use for drinking water, irrigation and manufacturing. What water that does not evaporates, transpires or seeps into the ground as aquifer recharge forms stream and rivers. This is called surface water runoff.  Some of this surface runoff infiltrates and percolates into the soil and becomes ground water flow.  Other snowmelt run-off becomes streams and rivers and this stream flow returns to the ocean. The radiant heat from the sun and reflecting heat exchanges from the Earth’s vegetation then supports a radiative exchange in which the vegetation grows and releases water that has been moisture in the soil feeding the plants and trees allowing for growth. Droughts arise from long periods of no or low rainfall and droughts are part of a natural cycle.[i] The hydrological cycle is made up of vast amount of oceans, glaciers, rivers, wetlands, forests and grasslands, lakes and deep aquifers and of all this, only one hundred of 1% is both fresh water and renewed by the hydrological cycle.[ii] Each part of this cycle has ocean, earth, atmosphere scientists studying the effects of the cycle of water. The benefits of clean water on society are multiple that includes landscapes that provide freshwater ecosystems, floods that recharge ground water or provides water to fields that deliver nutrients to the soils and carry off harmful salts making it a vital area for agriculture. This exchange creates watersheds, bioregions and biological ecological systems upon which all life is reliant. From time and immemorial there have been droughts when climate patterns shifted and impacts on food, energy and lifestyles were experienced.  Sandra Postel has illustrated in several writings that many previous civilizations committed “self-inflicted ecological suicide”[iii] destroying the ecosystems that supported and sustained them. The ongoing climate change is a systemic disruption that requires a change in our behavior in order for it to adjust itself. To continue with our lifestyles, as we know it will increase intensity and the cause perpetual drought. The Earth is a living organism that is ridding itself of the cause of the systemic changes. Either we will act in time to head off irreversible climate change or we will live with the consequence of technology and the Industrial Revolution.  Human beings activities have affected the world’s water patterns and our small actions (microcosm) have had consequences on the macrocosm, our Earth. [iv]

What is Global Warming?

The term Global Warming describes the observed and projected increase in globally averaged temperatures over time. Because the global climate is a dynamic system, global warming has occurred in the past and will occur in the future. Using surface station temperature measurements and satellite-based measurements, researchers have identified an increasing trend in the global average surface air temperatures. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has determined that this increase can be attributed to a combination of natural climate variations and human factors. One of the leading causes under investigation is the greenhouse effect of gasses in the atmosphere.

Figure 2 The Greenhouse effect

Credit: The Science of Climate Change, Working Group 1 of the 2nd Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, UNEP and WMO (United Nations Environment Programme, GRID-Arendal and http://www.climateark.org)

What is the Greenhouse Effect?

The Greenhouse Effect obtained its name from the behavior of a greenhouse. A greenhouse’s glass allows shortwave radiation to enter but then prohibits outgoing long-wave radiation from exiting, thus warming the air in the greenhouse. Although the behavior of the atmosphere is different from that of a greenhouse, the result is similar and thus the warming effect was termed the Greenhouse Effect. If it wasn’t for the natural greenhouse effect, almost all radiation would be returned to space and the average surface temperature would be around 0°C. Atmospheric gasses that cause this effect include water vapor (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). If the amount of these gasses in the atmosphere increases, then the greenhouse effect will be magnified and warmer global temperatures would result.

The evidence of human activities effect of climate change is overwhelming. In report for the U.S. Global Change Research Program, “Water: the Potential Consequence of Climate Variability and Change of the Water Resources of the United States,” that was supported by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S Geological Survey raises a wide range of concerns from circulation models.

Among the noteworthy findings in this report: ‘Problems in increased rapid runoff especially with changes of precipitation in semi-arid and arid climates. The timing and the amount of (earlier) run-off will vary by amount of snowfall. This will result in a reduction of spring and summer runoff, increases in winter run-off and earlier peak run-off are all going to be common experiences. The report warns that the management and operating rules have not been adequately assessed to meet these changes. With increased precipitation the “Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded in 1996, that there will be adverse impact of drought” and “ there is more evidence nor that flooding is likely to become a larger problem in many temperate regions requiring adaptations not one to droughts and chronic water shortages, but also to floods and associated damages, raising concerns about dam and levee failure.” Threshold and non-linear events are likely to occur this includes a fall in lake levels that cuts off outflows or separates a lake into parts and increases in flood intensity that passes specific damage thresholds and exceedance of water quality limits. As sea levels rise it will adversely affect groundwater aquifers and freshwater coastal ecosystems.  There will be more sea saltwater groundwater intrusions in the future. Global and regional increases in air temperature and the associated increases of water temperature are likely to lead to adverse changes in water quality, even if there is an absence of changes in precipitation.  Lakes will have variable stress including changes in lake levels and salinity, temperature range fluctuations that will result in increase nutrient cycling and productivity.  This may lower dissolved oxygen and degraded water quality. There are and will be more affects on freshwater systems depending on the nature of the change and the scope of the intentional interventions by humans. Already there is a wide range of vegetation patterns, possible extinctions of fish species already close to their thermal limits, declining area of wetlands with reductions in waterfowl populations, concerns about stream health and major habitat loss.  The report indicates that there is little known about groundwater basins or for ground water recharge and how this will effect water quality. Some studies suggest that some regional groundwater storage volumes are very sensitive to even modest changes in available recharge. [v]’The lack of knowledge due to funding collapse of observational field studies on ecosystems which has put the United States in a poor position on making recommendations as to solutions and policies on land, water resources and existing infrastructures.[vi]


[i] Peter Gleick USGS and Pacific Institute: “Water: The Consequences of Climate Variability and Change for the Water Resources of the United States.” September, 2000; Report of the Water Sector Assessment Team of the National Assessment of the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change; Pacific Institute and the US Department of the Interior through the U.S. Geological Survey.  Hydrologic cycle USGS website http://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/circ1139/htdocs/natural_processes_of_ground.htm

[ii] Sandra Postel “Liquid Assets: A critical need to safeguard freshwater systems”

[iii] Sandra Postel Liquid assets: page 10-16

[iv] Gleick et al. “The World’s Water 2006-2007 the Biennial Report on Freshwater Resources,” chap 4 Scarcity Island Press Ibid

[v] Peter H. Gleick et al U.S. Global Change Research Program, “Water: the Potential Consequence of Climate Variability and Change of the Water Resources of the United States,” that was supported by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S Geological Survey.

[vi] CCSP Report, Water Resources Chapter 4 pg 149

Posted by: indiesfaves | February 25, 2011

What to Do About Groundwater Contamination

Map of toxic waste sites and monitoring wells at KAFB

NMED forgot to put the Bulk Fuel facility Jet Fuel Plume on this map despite approving the permit in july 2010.

KAFB Jet Fuel Leakage: What to Do About Groundwater Contamination

In a letter to EPA Region 6 and the NMED HWB, environmental and social justice groups and individual citizens are asking for a public commenting and public hearing as it is their right under state and federal statutes’ regarding the KAFB Bulk Facility Fuel Leak.

Background

The Bulk Facility Jet Fuel Leakage at Kirtland Air Force Base (KAFB) is one of a series of environmental disasters perpetrated on their federal reservation. The leakage is one of the most massive in environmental spills in this state’s history leaking jet fuel into the aquifer since the 1970”s when leaded fuel was still used. EDB (ethylene dibromide), a component of leaded gas, and hydrocarbons (JP-4, which is essentially diesel for jet planes) are the very compounds that are now being monitored through water quality testing.  The 8 M gallon spill  (or more) is large enough to fill 15 olympic-size swimming pools of fuel floating in the aquifer, the primary source of drinking water.

The Issue at Hand

At this time the plume is not affecting any of the water production wells. However, two drinking water production wells; the number 5 wells of the both the Ridgecrest and possibly the Burton Well fields could be affected. As the crow flies, the plume’s suspected migration path location down gradient is closest to the Ridge Crest Well number 5 is only 4 city blocks. There has not been any groundwater modeling to precisely know where the plume is migrating. In the 11 years the known plume has existed there were only 3 monitoring wells and one of those wells were up gradients meaning it was drilled out side of the migrating pat of the plume and would never detect a problem.  The other wells were made of stainless steel and have corroded thereby rendering the sampling useless unable to measure the full impact of contaminates. Many other KAFB monitoring wells have screen installed improperly as well.

The saturation of the plume covers nearly 1 mile to the north-northeast of the former KAFB Bulk Fuel Facility site. This area has a LNAPL area defined in the Plume that has vapors that are in desperate need of mitigation. To put the vapor extraction issue into context, in California a spill 100 times smaller than this one would have nearly 15 vapor extraction burners. This spill has one. The California fuel spills have nearly one billion dollars thrown at it and it will never be able to be fully cleaned up.

The current substantial modifications to the KAFB permit will allow 78 monitoring wells. These are not cheap, costing hundred of thousands of dollars.  In other areas of the KAFB and other federal reservations upwards of 2 million dollar have been spent on monitoring wells. Many of the well have been drilled, installed improperly and will show false sampling data. Meaning a vapor extractor in every yard in the neighborhood running 24/7.  As seen from Google Earth there are over150 properties buildings that are affected by this disaster. However, the water delivery system itself is threatened and poses a severe public heath risk and severe water delivery shortage if the current sampling is only done once a month and the plume hit the wells the day after it was sampled.  The public could be drinking jet fuel for 35 days before a problem is detected.

Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), a.k.a the Hazardous Waste Act, facilities that create hazardous waste must be permitted under federal and state statutes’.  When the NMED Groundwater Bureau who was investigating a reported jet fuel spill around the fueling docks discovered the extent of the leakage in 1999. At that time NMED realized the spill was massive and it was reported in the Albuquerque Journal the is would take 10 years to clean up. The proverbial ball was dropped.  After a constant nudging by the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority (ABCWUA) the NMED HWB finally put the ball back into play within the federal oversight under RCRA because of Kirtland Air Force Base is a federal reservation and jurisdictional issues affects the oversight.

Despite the informational meetings offered by the New Mexico Environment Department Hazardous Waste Bureau [(NMED) (HWB)] their presentations have queried far more questions than have satisfied answers. Regarding NMED’s Jan 12th, 2011, 20-page Power Point presentation I have listed 40 questions that have not been answered satisfactorily. (See attached list of Questions. also at http://www.environmentalsafeguards.org/water.html)

In the informational meetings citizens who are being impacted directly or indirectly are only allowed to field a couple of questions and most of the time do not know enough about the law to understand what their rights are under the law. This truncated view of the problem is disingenuous to public when in fact they are entitled to a full commenting period and a public hearing. Answers to questions are over-simplified and vague with presenter lionizing the strong hand of the Environment Department while the full picture has not been painted for the public.

The facts are the NMED has substantially modified the RCRA Permit, which has changed the classification of the permit from classification level 2 that allows for a public commenting period to a modification classification Model 3, which entitles the public to have a public hearing.  In fact I specifically asked in the Jan 12th meeting, “when do we the public get to comment on the record.”  The question was glossed over.

The more I study the problem the more I see things slip through the cracks

This will allow people to comment on the planned Aquifer/Underground Injection Control (UIC) and the possible impacts on that to the drinking water ground water.

Aquifer Injection Pump and Treat and ARS

The hydrological studies on Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) that the ABCWUA as the permittee from the Office of the State Engineer (OSE) and the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) have not proved the impacts on seeps and springs within the hydrological area of influence nor has it proved that the pH, water temperature difference in order to preserve the natural conditions of groundwater or impacts on surface water and other water rights holders through their beneficial use, and

  1. The chemical analysis of river water does not include calcium and magnesium, which prevents determination of an ion balance in the water, the scaling tendency of the water or the sodium adsorption ration. The scaling tendency indicates the probability of forming (or Removing) a calcium carbonate layer of the downstream distribution system. It also indicates the compatibility with other waters, which the product water may be mixed with.
  2. Consideration should also be given to understanding the effects of mixing pumped groundwater with treated river water, Chemical analysis of proposed well field groundwater source will provide invaluable information for understanding and predicting potential adverse conditions.
  3. Bromide concentration in the water had not been specified; even the modest concentrations of bromide in the feed water can be significantly promoting the formation of Disinfectant By Products (DBPs). It is not clear what the Total Organic Carbon (TOC) consists of. The TOC of the river water is high enough that one must worry about the formation of DBPs. Some of the organic carbon will be removed during the coagulation process, but not all.
  4. It is not clear what residence time would exist between the addition of chlorine and addition of ammonia to convert the chlorine to monochloramine. One of the advantages of using chloramines for disinfection is the lowered tendency to form DPBs. However, if the period of time that the water is exposed to chlorine is too long, this advantage is dissipated. Reference is made to the hazards of use of chlorine gas as disinfectant.  Further investigation and study is needed to prove the viability of these ABCWUA ASR projects and whether they have the ability to provide safe and verifiable water source is require and that any permit already issued without these considerations should be pulled.

Under New Mexico Aquifer Storage and Recovery Act the permittee must show other contaminants or other known plumes of contamination in the area. NMED has a Letter of Understanding (LOU) from the Office of the State Engineer regarding the Water Quality on aquifer injection. Yet there are no regulations on the books requiring NMED to oversee permitting of an injections project.  Under the current law:

Aquifer Storage and Recovery Act and its rules and regulations, NMSA1978, 72-5A-1 through 72-5A-17 (1999 Supp.) Title 19 Chapter 25 Part 8.

The permittee must prove that their actions of the injection process will not affect the sphere of influence of those identified plumes or known contaminants by the potential turbulence of the injection plume and migrating water flows or other actions practiced by the permittee in this case. This has not been acknowledged or talked about.

Underground Injection Control Wells- It has come to our attention that it is up to the State’s discretion to permit the wells under RCRA and/or Safe Drinking Water Act. Whether these injection wells will be a Class IV or Class Five (under 40 CFR 144) and would need to be positive that such reinjection of contaminated water would not endanger underground sources of drinking water. We are requesting that NMED require a permit in order to ensure that the ABCWUA drinking water supply from this very groundwater source is adequately protected and that this permit process is subject to a formal public commenting period and public hearing.  In order to delegate the UIC state program:

According to the UIC federal statues

The Underground Injection Control Program is authorized under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The program is to assure that injection of fluids underground is accomplished in an environmentally safe manner. The Environmental Protection Agency established minimum requirements necessary to meet that objective. Those include:

  1. All injection wells must be either authorized by permit or rule.
  2. Minimum construction and siting requirements.
  3. Requirements for permit applications and processes which must be followed for permit evaluation.

Enforcement of program requirements. —http://www.epa.gov/region6/6en/w/sdwauic.htm

The EPA retains enforcement authority where the states were unable to demonstrate jurisdiction or if a state does not adequately enforce program requirements.

This plume’s footprint is large and has an elaborate pump and treat system that has people asking several questions to which there are no answers. The hydrological studies of the aquifer injection have not been proven or has it been studied and evaluated as to what impacts on seeps and springs within the hydrological area of influence; nor has it proved that the pH, water temperature difference in order to preserve the natural conditions of groundwater or impacts on surface water and other water rights holders regarding their beneficial use, and the following concerning regarding aquifer/underground Controlled injection. The case of the Bulk Facility Fuel Spill it is not an empty borehole that they are plugging. It is injection back into the drinking water aquifer.

The attempt to explain how the aquifer injection is going to work has raised other questions that have not been answered. The concerns of what type of process is going to clean this water have not been addressed.  The must be explained in a written report. The public deserves get the explanation and assurance in writing it is the public health risk at stake.

No formal studies have been done to insure that the injection well will not cause turbulence and disperse contaminants over a wider area, thereby raising the maximum contaminant levels in the aquifer. Nor has there been a report submitted by KAFB on the number of known plumes within a 3 miles radius that could be affected by the infiltration and injection systems plan.  The permit itself recognizes 9 areas of groundwater contamination but the full extent of this contamination is left out of the permit, such as the placement of well, condition of well and screens, construction of the monitoring wells.

Furthermore how the water will be tested and the ultimately treated is another concern. According to the permit issued 7-15-10, Bureau Chief James Bearzi referred to in his response to the Citizens for Environmental Safeguards (CES) Request for Public Information of January 20 & 26M NMED only requires testing for perchlorates for a period of one years. Yet there is no mention of perchlorates testing being done on the Bulk Fuel Facility JP4 and 8!

6.4.1.4. Perchlorate Screening in Groundwater

Monitoring for perchlorate is required for eight consecutive quarters in groundwater monitoring wells installed at the Facility after the effective date of this Permit and in the following existing wells or their replacements: KAFB-1001 through KAFB-1007 (McCormick Ranch/Range wells), KAFB-1901 through KAFB-1904 (Lake Christian wells), and EOD Hill well. The Department reserves the right to include additional wells for perchlorate monitoring. The Permittee shall report all monitoring results on January 31, April 30, July 31, and October 31 of each year for at least 8 consecutive quarters to the Department, unless the Department agrees in writing to a longer reporting period.

The Permittee shall determine the nature, extent, and rate of migration of any perchlorate contamination in groundwater at the Facility and, if necessary, down gradient of the Facility. The detection limit for the monitoring of perchlorate in groundwater shall not exceed 1 ug/L.

If perchlorate is detected in a groundwater at a concentration greater than or equal to 1 ug/L in a groundwater monitoring well, monitoring of perchlorates in such well must continue at a frequency determined by the Department. The frequency shall not exceed one year.

In this case the KAFB only has to test for 1 year out of a 10-year permit!

Other plumes of contaminants that exist in the area should identify and mapped in relation to the Bulk Fuel Facility Jet Fuel Plume. According to NMED web site the permit that was issued in 7/15/2010, there are groundwater contamination sites are listed that show 8 other sites.  Over 268 sites that have been rated “no further action” which doesn’t mean that they are cleaned up it could mean that the contamination is too costly to clean up.   

Other issue with KAFB

According to NMED Website the Permit that was issued in 7/15/2010. In the permit the groundwater contamination sites are listed that show 8 other sites.  Over 268 sites that have been rated “no further action” which doesn’t mean that they are cleaned up it could mean that the contamination is too costly to clean up.   

Permit Part 6.4.1.3. Areas with Groundwater Contamination

Groundwater contamination or the potential for groundwater contamination has been identified at the following areas:

1. Tijeras Arroyo Groundwater (TAG) Area – trichloroethylene (TCE) and nitrate;

2. Landfills #4, #5, and #6, LF-008 (SWMU 6-4)–potential for contamination by selenium and TCE;

3. Manzano Base Groundwater – TCE;

4. Sewage Lagoons and Golf Course Pond, WP-026 – TCE, nitrate;

5. Manzano Sewage Treatment Facility, WP-16 (SWMU 6-24) – potential for

Contamination;

6. Monitoring well WYO-4 area – TCE;

7. McCormick Ranch — Nitrate;

8. Bulk Fuels Facility, ST-106 and SS-111 — Fuel (JP-4, JP-8, and Aviation Gas) Contamination; and

9. EOD Hill – Perchlorate contamination.

The Permittee shall complete an Investigation Work Plan, Investigation Report, or CME Report

New Mexico Environment Department Kirtland Air Force Base

July 2010 Hazardous Waste Facility Permit No.NM9570024423

PERMIT PART 6 for each of the nine areas of groundwater contamination in accordance with the compliance schedules in Table I-3 of Permit Attachment I. The Permittee shall complete a CME Report for each area of groundwater contamination that requires remediation, as determined by the Department. In addition, Permittee shall investigate other areas of the Facility, in addition to those listed above, where the Department determines that either groundwater is contaminated or there is potential for groundwater contamination.

Who lives down gradient? Nearly 80,000 to 100,000 people in the Mesa Del Sol community, the village of Mountain View the South Valley Agricultural Community and directly south the Pueblo of Isleta.

What is reported here is not the worse of it. The radionuclide’s for bomb making manufacturing and the Sandia National Laboratory nuclear reactor that has no containment building and government contractors throwing deadly toxic waste in boxes, plastic bags, and steel drums that are decomposing and leaks in into the aquifer.  All of this sits upon the crossroads of three major faults; just south of the facility is the Seismic Facility for USGS, yesterday there was a reported earthquake measuring. 2.9 on the Richter Scale on the Los Alamos National Laboratory reservation along the Jemez Caldera Rim New Mexico’s Super Volcano.

To have these facilities in a metropolitan area is not smart, puts at risks the lives of hundreds of thousands of lives, destroying the biosphere and holds out little promise that our children will know the Earth as we did as children.  We are the last generation to do anything about the problems at hand.  Join us in our challenge to tell the stories of who we are and how we are going to transform this world despite the realities we face.

KAFB Jet Fuel Leakage:

What to Do About Groundwater Contamination

In a letter to EPA Region 6 and the NMED HWB, environmental and social justice groups and individual citizens are asking for a public commenting and public hearing as it is their right under state and federal statutes’ regarding the KAFB Bulk Facility Fuel Leak.

Background

The Bulk Facility Jet Fuel Leakage at Kirtland Air Force Base (KAFB) is one of a series of environmental disasters perpetrated on their federal reservation. The leakage is one of the most massive in environmental spills in this state’s history leaking jet fuel into the aquifer since the 1970”s when leaded fuel was still used. EDB (ethylene dibromide), a component of leaded gas, and hydrocarbons (JP-4, which is essentially diesel for jet planes) are the very compounds that are now being monitored through water quality testing.  The 8 M gallon spill  (or more) is large enough to fill 15 olympic-size swimming pools of fuel floating in the aquifer, the primary source of drinking water.

The Issue at Hand

At this time the plume is not affecting any of the water production wells. However, two drinking water production wells; the number 5 wells of the both the Ridgecrest and possibly the Burton Well fields could be affected. As the crow flies, the plume’s suspected migration path location down gradient is closest to the Ridge Crest Well number 5 is only 4 city blocks. There has not been any groundwater modeling to precisely know where the plume is migrating. In the 11 years the known plume has existed there were only 3 monitoring wells and one of those wells were up gradients meaning it was drilled out side of the migrating pat of the plume and would never detect a problem.  The other wells were made of stainless steel and have corroded thereby rendering the sampling useless unable to measure the full impact of contaminates. Many other KAFB monitoring wells have screen installed improperly as well.

The saturation of the plume covers nearly 1 mile to the north-northeast of the former KAFB Bulk Fuel Facility site. This area has a LNAPL area defined in the Plume that has vapors that are in desperate need of mitigation. To put the vapor extraction issue into context, in California a spill 100 times smaller than this one would have nearly 15 vapor extraction burners. This spill has one. The California fuel spills have nearly one billion dollars thrown at it and it will never be able to be fully cleaned up.

The current substantial modifications to the KAFB permit will allow 78 monitoring wells. These are not cheap, costing hundred of thousands of dollars.  In other areas of the KAFB and other federal reservations upwards of 2 million dollar have been spent on monitoring wells. Many of the well have been drilled, installed improperly and will show false sampling data. Meaning a vapor extractor in every yard in the neighborhood running 24/7.  As seen from Google Earth there are over150 properties buildings that are affected by this disaster. However, the water delivery system itself is threatened and poses a severe public heath risk and severe water delivery shortage if the current sampling is only done once a month and the plume hit the wells the day after it was sampled.  The public could be drinking jet fuel for 35 days before a problem is detected.

Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), a.k.a the Hazardous Waste Act, facilities that create hazardous waste must be permitted under federal and state statutes’.  When the NMED Groundwater Bureau who was investigating a reported jet fuel spill around the fueling docks discovered the extent of the leakage in 1999. At that time NMED realized the spill was massive and it was reported in the Albuquerque Journal the is would take 10 years to clean up. The proverbial ball was dropped.  After a constant nudging by the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority (ABCWUA) the NMED HWB finally put the ball back into play within the federal oversight under RCRA because of Kirtland Air Force Base is a federal reservation and jurisdictional issues affects the oversight.

Despite the informational meetings offered by the New Mexico Environment Department Hazardous Waste Bureau [(NMED) (HWB)] their presentations have queried far more questions than have satisfied answers. Regarding NMED’s Jan 12th, 2011, 20-page Power Point presentation I have listed 40 questions that have not been answered satisfactorily. (See attached list of Questions. also at http://www.environmentalsafeguards.org/water.html).

In the informational meetings citizens who are being impacted directly or indirectly are only allowed to field a couple of questions and most of the time do not know enough about the law to understand what their rights are under the law. This truncated view of the problem is disingenuous to public when in fact they are entitled to a full commenting period and a public hearing. Answers to questions are over-simplified and vague with presenter lionizing the strong hand of the Environment Department while the full picture has not been painted for the public.

The facts are the NMED has substantially modified the RCRA Permit, which has changed the classification of the permit from classification level 2 that allows for a public commenting period to a modification classification Model 3, which entitles the public to have a public hearing.  In fact I specifically asked in the Jan 12th meeting, “when do we the public get to comment on the record.”  The question was glossed over.

The more I study the problem the more I see things slip through the cracks

This will allow people to comment on the planned Aquifer/Underground Injection Control (UIC) and the possible impacts on that to the drinking water ground water.

Aquifer Injection Pump and Treat and ARS

The hydrological studies on Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) that the ABCWUA as the permittee from the Office of the State Engineer (OSE) and the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) have not proved the impacts on seeps and springs within the hydrological area of influence nor has it proved that the pH, water temperature difference in order to preserve the natural conditions of groundwater or impacts on surface water and other water rights holders through their beneficial use, and

  1. The chemical analysis of river water does not include calcium and magnesium, which prevents determination of an ion balance in the water, the scaling tendency of the water or the sodium adsorption ration. The scaling tendency indicates the probability of forming (or Removing) a calcium carbonate layer of the downstream distribution system. It also indicates the compatibility with other waters, which the product water may be mixed with.
  2. Consideration should also be given to understanding the effects of mixing pumped groundwater with treated river water, Chemical analysis of proposed well field groundwater source will provide invaluable information for understanding and predicting potential adverse conditions.
  3. Bromide concentration in the water had not been specified; even the modest concentrations of bromide in the feed water can be significantly promoting the formation of Disinfectant By Products (DBPs). It is not clear what the Total Organic Carbon (TOC) consists of. The TOC of the river water is high enough that one must worry about the formation of DBPs. Some of the organic carbon will be removed during the coagulation process, but not all.
  4. It is not clear what residence time would exist between the addition of chlorine and addition of ammonia to convert the chlorine to monochloramine. One of the advantages of using chloramines for disinfection is the lowered tendency to form DPBs. However, if the period of time that the water is exposed to chlorine is too long, this advantage is dissipated. Reference is made to the hazards of use of chlorine gas as disinfectant.  Further investigation and study is needed to prove the viability of these ABCWUA ASR projects and whether they have the ability to provide safe and verifiable water source is require and that any permit already issued without these considerations should be pulled.

Under New Mexico Aquifer Storage and Recovery Act the permittee must show other contaminants or other known plumes of contamination in the area. NMED has a Letter of Understanding (LOU) from the Office of the State Engineer regarding the Water Quality on aquifer injection. Yet there are no regulations on the books requiring NMED to oversee permitting of an injections project.  Under the current law:

Aquifer Storage and Recovery Act and its rules and regulations, NMSA1978, 72-5A-1 through 72-5A-17 (1999 Supp.) Title 19 Chapter 25 Part 8.

The permittee must prove that their actions of the injection process will not affect the sphere of influence of those identified plumes or known contaminants by the potential turbulence of the injection plume and migrating water flows or other actions practiced by the permittee in this case. This has not been acknowledged or talked about.

Underground Injection Control Wells- It has come to our attention that it is up to the State’s discretion to permit the wells under RCRA and/or Safe Drinking Water Act. Whether these injection wells will be a Class IV or Class Five (under 40 CFR 144) and would need to be positive that such reinjection of contaminated water would not endanger underground sources of drinking water. We are requesting that NMED require a permit in order to ensure that the ABCWUA drinking water supply from this very groundwater source is adequately protected and that this permit process is subject to a formal public commenting period and public hearing.  In order to delegate the UIC state program:

According to the UIC federal statues

The Underground Injection Control Program is authorized under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The program is to assure that injection of fluids underground is accomplished in an environmentally safe manner. The Environmental Protection Agency established minimum requirements necessary to meet that objective. Those include:

  1. All injection wells must be either authorized by permit or rule.
  2. Minimum construction and siting requirements.
  3. Requirements for permit applications and processes which must be followed for permit evaluation.

Enforcement of program requirements. —http://www.epa.gov/region6/6en/w/sdwauic.htm

The EPA retains enforcement authority where the states were unable to demonstrate jurisdiction or if a state does not adequately enforce program requirements.

This plume’s footprint is large and has an elaborate pump and treat system that has people asking several questions to which there are no answers. The hydrological studies of the aquifer injection have not been proven or has it been studied and evaluated as to what impacts on seeps and springs within the hydrological area of influence; nor has it proved that the pH, water temperature difference in order to preserve the natural conditions of groundwater or impacts on surface water and other water rights holders regarding their beneficial use, and the following concerning regarding aquifer/underground Controlled injection. The case of the Bulk Facility Fuel Spill it is not an empty borehole that they are plugging. It is injection back into the drinking water aquifer.

The attempt to explain how the aquifer injection is going to work has raised other questions that have not been answered. The concerns of what type of process is going to clean this water have not been addressed.  The must be explained in a written report. The public deserves get the explanation and assurance in writing it is the public health risk at stake.

No formal studies have been done to insure that the injection well will not cause turbulence and disperse contaminants over a wider area, thereby raising the maximum contaminant levels in the aquifer. Nor has there been a report submitted by KAFB on the number of known plumes within a 3 miles radius that could be affected by the infiltration and injection systems plan.  The permit itself recognizes 9 areas of groundwater contamination but the full extent of this contamination is left out of the permit, such as the placement of well, condition of well and screens, construction of the monitoring wells.

Furthermore how the water will be tested and the ultimately treated is another concern. According to the permit issued 7-15-10, Bureau Chief James Bearzi referred to in his response to the Citizens for Environmental Safeguards (CES) Request for Public Information of January 20 & 26M NMED only requires testing for perchlorates for a period of one years. Yet there is no mention of perchlorates testing being done on the Bulk Fuel Facility JP4 and 8!

6.4.1.4. Perchlorate Screening in Groundwater

Monitoring for perchlorate is required for eight consecutive quarters in groundwater monitoring wells installed at the Facility after the effective date of this Permit and in the following existing wells or their replacements: KAFB-1001 through KAFB-1007 (McCormick Ranch/Range wells), KAFB-1901 through KAFB-1904 (Lake Christian wells), and EOD Hill well. The Department reserves the right to include additional wells for perchlorate monitoring. The Permittee shall report all monitoring results on January 31, April 30, July 31, and October 31 of each year for at least 8 consecutive quarters to the Department, unless the Department agrees in writing to a longer reporting period.

The Permittee shall determine the nature, extent, and rate of migration of any perchlorate contamination in groundwater at the Facility and, if necessary, down gradient of the Facility. The detection limit for the monitoring of perchlorate in groundwater shall not exceed 1 ug/L.

If perchlorate is detected in a groundwater at a concentration greater than or equal to 1 ug/L in a groundwater monitoring well, monitoring of perchlorates in such well must continue at a frequency determined by the Department. The frequency shall not exceed one year.

In this case the KAFB only has to test for 1 year out of a 10-year permit!

Other plumes of contaminants that exist in the area should identify and mapped in relation to the Bulk Fuel Facility Jet Fuel Plume. According to NMED web site the permit that was issued in 7/15/2010, there are groundwater contamination sites are listed that show 8 other sites.  Over 268 sites that have been rated “no further action” which doesn’t mean that they are cleaned up it could mean that the contamination is too costly to clean up.   

Other issue with KAFB

According to NMED Website the Permit that was issued in 7/15/2010. In the permit the groundwater contamination sites are listed that show 8 other sites.  Over 268 sites that have been rated “no further action” which doesn’t mean that they are cleaned up it could mean that the contamination is too costly to clean up.   

Permit Part 6.4.1.3. Areas with Groundwater Contamination

Groundwater contamination or the potential for groundwater contamination has been identified at the following areas:

1. Tijeras Arroyo Groundwater (TAG) Area – trichloroethylene (TCE) and nitrate;

2. Landfills #4, #5, and #6, LF-008 (SWMU 6-4)–potential for contamination by selenium and TCE;

3. Manzano Base Groundwater – TCE;

4. Sewage Lagoons and Golf Course Pond, WP-026 – TCE, nitrate;

5. Manzano Sewage Treatment Facility, WP-16 (SWMU 6-24) – potential for

Contamination;

6. Monitoring well WYO-4 area – TCE;

7. McCormick Ranch — Nitrate;

8. Bulk Fuels Facility, ST-106 and SS-111 — Fuel (JP-4, JP-8, and Aviation Gas) Contamination; and

9. EOD Hill – Perchlorate contamination.

The Permittee shall complete an Investigation Work Plan, Investigation Report, or CME Report

New Mexico Environment Department Kirtland Air Force Base

July 2010 Hazardous Waste Facility Permit No.NM9570024423

PERMIT PART 6 for each of the nine areas of groundwater contamination in accordance with the compliance schedules in Table I-3 of Permit Attachment I. The Permittee shall complete a CME Report for each area of groundwater contamination that requires remediation, as determined by the Department. In addition, Permittee shall investigate other areas of the Facility, in addition to those listed above, where the Department determines that either groundwater is contaminated or there is potential for groundwater contamination.

Who lives down gradient? Nearly 80,000 to 100,000 people in the Mesa Del Sol community, the village of Mountain View, the South Valley Agricultural Community and directly south the Pueblo of Isleta.

What is reported here is not the worse of it. The radionuclide’s for bomb making manufacturing and the Sandia National Laboratory nuclear reactor that has no containment building and government contractors throwing deadly toxic waste in boxes, plastic bags, and steel drums that are decomposing and leaks in into the aquifer.  All of this sits upon the crossroads of three major faults; just south of the facility is the Seismic Facility for USGS, yesterday there was a reported earthquake measuring. 2.9 on the Richter Scale on the Los Alamos National Laboratory reservation along the Jemez Caldera Rim New Mexico’s Super Volcano.

To have these facilities in a metropolitan area is not smart, puts at risks the lives of hundreds of thousands of lives, destroying the biosphere and holds out little promise that our children will know the Earth as we did as children.  We are the last generation to do anything about the problems at hand.  Join us in our challenge to tell the stories of who we are and how we are going to transform this world despite the harsh realities we face.

Posted by: indiesfaves | February 24, 2011

The State of Water

We are facing fresh drinking water scarcity worldwide due to population and climate change; this condition will worsen unless we are able to change our cultural lifestyles and make responsible intelligent choices and to continue to act on them for the rest of our lives. We have disrupted the hydrological system upon which we are dependent for life by the use of fossil fuels and in particular coal-burning.

99 percent of the world’s agricultural irrigation comes from the rivers, ground water flows, lakes and aquifers. Less than ½ of 1% of comes from desalination. During the last century a vast infrastructure was built to harness the power of water in hydro-electricity through dam building, to facilitate transportation along the rivers and dispose of wastes. The large economic and environmental cost has shown policy makers to be shortsighted, as it has allowed us to operate in a business-as-usual frameworks unaware of wet years and dry years, where we remained disconnected from making appropriate decisions about how to live a restorative lifestyle and failed to take into account new findings regarding our change in climate and stepping up as individuals and communities to the challenge. [i]

We now have prospects for rebuilding the commonwealth while restoring nature, in our case, our commons, water and air. By doing this we have an opportunity to contribute to our social stability, to achieve our full potential, while meeting our basic needs and those of our family. Our grassroots communities have traditionally recognized the true value of our government’s first responsibility is to the security of its people. Climate change is a security issue, since it strikes at foundations of economic stability, safety and healthy living conditions equally for all affected whatever class, race, gender, or age. We have benefited as Americans from our ingenuity and technology as we have misused it and through our everyday human activities that has caused this challenge before us. We are all responsible for each other, ourselves and the security of our nation and as we are the contributors of 25% of the total carbon emissions with only 1/5 of the world’s population; together we have a global responsibility for global security of the commons through accountable, conscientious and sensible living.[ii] There is a way to change our lifestyle through innovative structures which will require a collective examination of our first steps toward acknowledging the challenge before us. We need to be inclusive of all of the global community in coming to an encompassing mobilization and alternative solutions. This is our moment to make the first behavioral changes within our local communities, to promote state, and then national and international solutions. If you would look to Pennsylvania you would see a populist charge that is starting to happen nationwide and where whole communities are reclaiming their democratic values to self-governance by rewriting the city and county charters governing corporations in part to protect the Rights of Nature, to prohibit denigrating corporate projects that cause harm to water, the earth and the people who are impacted by them i.e. water mining, mining to hog farming activity.

Our security is based on our citizenry, our wisdom to acknowledge when the skills that  people have relied for decades no longer provides them the security that they once did and when the concentration of great wealth is most likely to come at the expense of the working and poor people; it is up to the people of America, our great local communities across this nation to consider a new social change that addresses the needs of local economics that is tied to green technology jobs and to environmental safety, while ensuring the rights of nature thus allowing others around the Earth to adopt and transform their energy use.

We know we have a moral responsibility to future generations as a community and as a nation. We also understand that we have to repair our democracy and government so we can meet the challenges and solutions for the economic progression and transitions needed. Accountability and shifting to the Green Tech economic needs will solve our crisis and begin community cooperation; like local projects in Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reduction, renewable energy, and in energy and water efficiency and reduction.

A New Green Deal would include a polluter pay initiative by taxing carbon emissions and with transparency of systemic social and economic processes there are definite goals that would be met and relatively soon.  In addition, there are different scenarios that need to work in combination to achieve significant GHG mitigation. We need to educate for “intelligent environmental action” and the ability to process information and formulate action strategies in order to restore the hydrological system.[iii]

The Pacific Institute’s Peter H. Gleick et al., the scientific community, has identified roughly 1,000 peer-reviewed papers regarding climate change and the numbers are growing as fast as the climate appears to be changing.  There is evidence from climate models that serious change to our water systems effected by climate change has imbalanced, misplaced and disappearing water as a result of excessive carbon emissions and caused diminished water resources. How we solve our problems associated with climate change will depend on our ability to restore water systems and work together, cooperate and change our consumptive use.

Climate Change Effects on the Hydrological Cycle

The tornado that passed over the Arriba Bajada a year or so ago it was in the same storm system that blew away Greenburg, Kansas, which decimated an entire town.  There have been many people displaced; injured or killed which is a relentless onslaught that is on going for this region of the country.   Tornado Alley and the river valleys of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers will most likely see more environmental migrants reminiscent of the Dust Bowl, from flooding due to extreme weather events. The migrants of Katrina that gave this generation our first look at what the economic collapse of infrastructure and government looks like when it is left unfunded and what human suffering looked like first hand of whom were Americans.[iv]

Figure 4 Our traditional analysis using only meteorological station data is a line plot of global annual-mean surface air temperature change derived from the meteorological station network [This is an update of Figure 6(b) in Hansen et al. (2001).] Uncertainty bars (95% confidence limits) are shown for both the annual and five-year means, account only for incomplete spatial sampling of data.

Figure 5Credit: School of Environmental Studies, Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK(United Nations Environment Programme, GRID-Arendal and http://www.climateark.org

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) expects increase in average temperatures by 2.5-10.4 degrees Fahrenheit that will be more frequent and more severe.  Climate shifts are expected to be disruptive, abrupt and dramatic having ecological and economic impacts. [v]

Climate Change: A Result of Human Activity

Most people just want to know what to do about climate change. A symptom called, “green fatigue” mainly appears in people who do not know what to do about the problem and throw their hands up in the air. First, it is important to understand what is happening to the water cycle and what is causing it, which means once you understand why things or happening you are responsible to do something about it.  It took us the entire industrial revolution to cause climate change and specifically the last 50 years and the technological revolution to figure out what is going on. However, we knew there was something happening in 1973 during the first oil embargo and gasoline shortage.  We now need to use the forgotten skill of foresight to rectify our misuse of the nature. Albert Schweitzer said, “Man has lost the capacity to foresee and to forestall, he will end by destroying the Earth.” As sublime, as she appears, Nature is the force that we have not yet learned to live with and as climate changes the extreme conditions for human beings and our bio-diverse environments are most likely going to be impacted severely as accelleration happens.


[i] Peter Gleick USGS and Pacific Institute: “Water: The Consequences of Climate Variability and Change for the Water Resources of the United States.” September, 2000; Report of the Water Sector Assessment Team of the National Assessment of the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change; Pacific Institute and the US Department of the Interior through the U.S. Geological Survey.

[ii] Gleick et al. “The World’s Water 2006-2007 the Biennial Report on Freshwater Resources,” chap 4 Scarcity Island Press Ibid

[iii] Tina Grotzer and Rebecca Lincoln , Harvard University which is part of the work of Understanding of Consequence Project.

[iv] Pender, Kathleen, SF Chronicle ‘the True Cost of Katrina’.  September 27, 2005

[v] Peter H. Gleick et al U.S. Global Change Research Program, “Water: the Potential Consequence of Climate Variability and Change of the Water Resources of the United States,” that was supported by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S Geological Survey. “Key messages for water managers, planners and interested members of the public.”

Posted by: indiesfaves | February 24, 2011

Hydrological Cycle or the Water Cycle affected by Climate Change

Chapter 1 Hydrological Cycle or the Water Cycle affected by Climate Change

Water 101: A familiar hydrological or water cycle Figure 2

Figure 1   Hydrological Cycle source GAO report Freshwater Systems

The water cycle is a system that regulates how water is distributed and it is the that disruption of this cycle and the mismanagement of fresh water that is causing water scarcity throughout of the world affecting many level of drought and causing flooding in other areas.

The hydrology system is supposed to work like this; the wind transports water vapor over the oceans; gathering condensation through what is call evaporation. As these water vapors multiply becoming condensation, which is a heating of the atmosphere from both over land and oceans. Over land water vapor also rises through evapotranspiration. This comes from earth, plants, trees and other vegetation. The water vapors form clouds and then release precipitation. Precipitation can come in the form of rain, sleet, hail, snow. Storms bring extra moisture to specific areas. Water in the form of rain, ice and snow is a source of fresh water. This is stored in the snowpak in the winter, in the spring when the snow melts; this is what municipalities, agriculture and industry use for drinking water, irrigation and manufacturing. What water that does not evaporates, transpires or seeps into the ground as aquifer recharge forms stream and rivers. This is called surface water runoff.  Some of this surface runoff infiltrates and percolates into the soil and becomes ground water flow.  Other snowmelt run-off becomes streams and rivers and this stream flow returns to the ocean. The radiant heat from the sun and reflecting heat exchanges from the Earth’s vegetation then supports a radiative exchange in which the vegetation grows and releases water that has been moisture in the soil feeding the plants and trees allowing for growth. Droughts arise from long periods of no or low rainfall and droughts are part of a natural cycle.[ii] The hydrological cycle is made up of vast amount of oceans, glaciers, rivers, wetlands, forests and grasslands, lakes and deep aquifers and of all this, only one hundred of 1% is both fresh water and renewed by the hydrological cycle.[iii] Each part of this cycle has ocean, earth, atmosphere scientists studying the effects of the cycle of water. The benefits of clean water on society are multiple that includes landscapes that provide freshwater ecosystems, floods that recharge ground water or provides water to fields that deliver nutrients to the soils and carry off harmful salts making it a vital area for agriculture. This exchange creates watersheds, bioregions and biological ecological systems upon which all life is reliant. From time and immemorial there have been droughts when climate patterns shifted and impacts on food, energy and lifestyles were experienced.  Sandra Postel has illustrated in several writings that many previous civilizations committed “self-inflicted ecological suicide”[iv] destroying the ecosystems that supported and sustained them. The ongoing climate change is a systemic disruption that requires a change in our behavior in order for it to adjust itself. To continue with our lifestyles, as we know it will increase intensity and the cause perpetual drought. The Earth is a living organism that is ridding itself of the cause of the systemic changes. Either we will act in time to head off irreversible climate change or we will live with the consequence of technology and the Industrial Revolution.  Human beings activities have affected the world’s water patterns and our small actions (microcosm) have had consequences on the macrocosm, our Earth. [v]

What is Global Warming?

The term Global Warming describes the observed and projected increase in globally averaged temperatures over time. Because the global climate is a dynamic system, global warming has occurred in the past and will occur in the future. Using surface station temperature measurements and satellite-based measurements, researchers have identified an increasing trend in the global average surface air temperatures. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has determined that this increase can be attributed to a combination of natural climate variations and human factors. One of the leading causes under investigation is the greenhouse effect of gasses in the atmosphere.

Figure 2 The Greenhouse effect

Credit: The Science of Climate Change, Working Group 1 of the 2nd Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, UNEP and WMO (United Nations Environment Programme, GRID-Arendal and http://www.climateark.org)

What is the Greenhouse Effect?

The Greenhouse Effect obtained its name from the behavior of a greenhouse. A greenhouse’s glass allows shortwave radiation to enter but then prohibits outgoing long-wave radiation from exiting, thus warming the air in the greenhouse. Although the behavior of the atmosphere is different from that of a greenhouse, the result is similar and thus the warming effect was termed the Greenhouse Effect. If it wasn’t for the natural greenhouse effect, almost all radiation would be returned to space and the average surface temperature would be around 0°C. Atmospheric gasses that cause this effect include water vapor (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). If the amount of these gasses in the atmosphere increases, then the greenhouse effect will be magnified and warmer global temperatures would result.

The evidence of human activities effect of climate change is overwhelming. In report for the U.S. Global Change Research Program, “Water: the Potential Consequence of Climate Variability and Change of the Water Resources of the United States,” that was supported by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S Geological Survey raises a wide range of concerns from circulation models.

Among the noteworthy findings in this report: ‘Problems in increased rapid runoff especially with changes of precipitation in semi-arid and arid climates. The timing and the amount of (earlier) run-off will vary by amount of snowfall. This will result in a reduction of spring and summer runoff, increases in winter run-off and earlier peak run-off are all going to be common experiences. The report warns that the management and operating rules have not been adequately assessed to meet these changes. With increased precipitation the “Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded in 1996, that there will be adverse impact of drought” and “ there is more evidence nor that flooding is likely to become a larger problem in many temperate regions requiring adaptations not one to droughts and chronic water shortages, but also to floods and associated damages, raising concerns about dam and levee failure.” Threshold and non-linear events are likely to occur this includes a fall in lake levels that cuts off outflows or separates a lake into parts and increases in flood intensity that passes specific damage thresholds and exceedance of water quality limits. As sea levels rise it will adversely affect groundwater aquifers and freshwater coastal ecosystems.  There will be more sea saltwater groundwater intrusions in the future. Global and regional increases in air temperature and the associated increases of water temperature are likely to lead to adverse changes in water quality, even if there is an absence of changes in precipitation.  Lakes will have variable stress including changes in lake levels and salinity, temperature range fluctuations that will result in increase nutrient cycling and productivity.  This may lower dissolved oxygen and degraded water quality. There are and will be more affects on freshwater systems depending on the nature of the change and the scope of the intentional interventions by humans. Already there is a wide range of vegetation patterns, possible extinctions of fish species already close to their thermal limits, declining area of wetlands with reductions in waterfowl populations, concerns about stream health and major habitat loss.  The report indicates that there is little known about groundwater basins or for ground water recharge and how this will effect water quality. Some studies suggest that some regional groundwater storage volumes are very sensitive to even modest changes in available recharge. [vi]’The lack of knowledge due to funding collapse of observational field studies on ecosystems which has put the United States in a poor position on making recommendations as to solutions and policies on land, water resources and existing infrastructures.[vii]


[i] Inspired by Mary Austin

[ii] Peter Gleick USGS and Pacific Institute: “Water: The Consequences of Climate Variability and Change for the Water Resources of the United States.” September, 2000; Report of the Water Sector Assessment Team of the National Assessment of the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change; Pacific Institute and the US Department of the Interior through the U.S. Geological Survey.  Hydrologic cycle USGS website http://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/circ1139/htdocs/natural_processes_of_ground.htm

[iii] Sandra Postel “Liquid Assets: A critical need to safeguard freshwater systems”

[iv] Sandra Postel Liquid assets: page 10-16

[v] Gleick et al. “The World’s Water 2006-2007 the Biennial Report on Freshwater Resources,” chap 4 Scarcity Island Press Ibid

[vi] Peter H. Gleick et al U.S. Global Change Research Program, “Water: the Potential Consequence of Climate Variability and Change of the Water Resources of the United States,” that was supported by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S Geological Survey.

[vii] CCSP Report, Water Resources Chapter 4 pg 149

Posted by: indiesfaves | February 24, 2011

Our land of little rain

Our land of little rain[i]

As the Earth becomes more inhospitable and difficult to survive in, perhaps we may find us a path to sweet water then again, might not. This is a place where marginalized Indians, Mexicans, and women struggle to speak their voices, yet only the howls of coyotes can be heard. Cackling and vying for alpha positions. It is there where the voices that held knowledge spoke and it is where grandmothers lived.  It is a land where water flows in a ditch or it doesn’t.  Where the water is in the plants, trees and the rocks, and it is brokered, brokered like our relationship to Earth and Sky that is so familiar in the West.  Our land of little rain where clouds fly by yet keeps their gifts for others. It rains so hard with never touching the ground or pours so violent it drowns with the deluge of mud, turbid and rank. Taste the salty sweat bead as it passes over our lips all the while longing for sweet water.  It carries with it the snow, the ice or the fire and heat it is that which flows, blood, water and life.

Our land of little rain. Must we move or stay, without rain, there is no life.


[i] Inspired by Mary Austin

Posted by: indiesfaves | February 10, 2011

KAFB Jet Fuel Leakage: What to Do About Groundwater Contamination

In a letter to EPA Region 6 and the NMED HWB, environmental and social justice groups and individual citizens are asking for a public commenting and public hearing as it is their right under state and federal statutes’ regarding the KAFB Bulk Facility Fuel Leak.

Background

The Bulk Facility Jet Fuel Leakage at Kirtland Air Force Base (KAFB) is one of a series of environmental disasters perpetrated on their federal reservation. The leakage is one of the most massive in environmental spills in this state’s history leaking jet fuel into the aquifer since the 1970”s when leaded fuel was still used. EDB (ethylene dibromide), a component of leaded gas, and hydrocarbons (JP-4, which is essentially diesel for jet planes) are the very compounds that are now being monitored through water quality testing.  The 8 M gallon spill  (or more) is large enough to fill 15 olympic-size swimming pools of fuel floating in the aquifer, the primary source of drinking water.

The Issue at Hand

At this time the plume is not affecting any of the water production wells. However, two drinking water production wells; the number 5 wells of the both the Ridgecrest and possibly the Burton Well fields could be affected. As the crow flies, the plume’s suspected migration path location down gradient is closest to the Ridge Crest Well number 5 is only 4 city blocks. There has not been any groundwater modeling to precisely know where the plume is migrating. In the 11 years the known plume has existed there were only 3 monitoring wells and one of those wells were up gradients meaning it was drilled out side of the migrating pat of the plume and would never detect a problem.  The other wells were made of stainless steel and have corroded thereby rendering the sampling useless unable to measure the full impact of contaminates. Many other KAFB monitoring wells have screen installed improperly as well.

The saturation of the plume covers nearly 1 mile to the north-northeast of the former KAFB Bulk Fuel Facility site. This area has a LNAPL area defined in the Plume that has vapors that are in desperate need of mitigation. To put the vapor extraction issue into context, in California a spill 100 times smaller than this one would have nearly 15 vapor extraction burners. This spill has one. The California fuel spills have nearly one billion dollars thrown at it and it will never be able to be fully cleaned up.

The current substantial modifications to the KAFB permit will allow 78 monitoring wells. These are not cheap, costing hundred of thousands of dollars.  In other areas of the KAFB and other federal reservations upwards of 2 million dollar have been spent on monitoring wells. Many of the well have been drilled, installed improperly and will show false sampling data. Meaning a vapor extractor in every yard in the neighborhood running 24/7.  As seen from Google Earth there are over150 properties buildings that are affected by this disaster. However, the water delivery system itself is threatened and poses a severe public heath risk and severe water delivery shortage if the current sampling is only done once a month and the plume hit the wells the day after it was sampled.  The public could be drinking jet fuel for 35 days before a problem is detected.

Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), a.k.a the Hazardous Waste Act, facilities that create hazardous waste must be permitted under federal and state statutes’.  When the NMED Groundwater Bureau who was investigating a reported jet fuel spill around the fueling docks discovered the extent of the leakage in 1999. At that time NMED realized the spill was massive and it was reported in the Albuquerque Journal the is would take 10 years to clean up. The proverbial ball was dropped.  After a constant nudging by the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority (ABCWUA) the NMED HWB finally put the ball back into play within the federal oversight under RCRA because of Kirtland Air Force Base is a federal reservation and jurisdictional issues affects the oversight.

Despite the informational meetings offered by the New Mexico Environment Department Hazardous Waste Bureau [(NMED) (HWB)] their presentations have queried far more questions than have satisfied answers. Regarding NMED’s Jan 12th, 2011, 20-page Power Point presentation I have listed 40 questions that have not been answered satisfactorily. (See attached list of Questions. also at http://www.environmentalsafeguards.org/water.html)

In the informational meetings citizens who are being impacted directly or indirectly are only allowed to field a couple of questions and most of the time do not know enough about the law to understand what their rights are under the law. This truncated view of the problem is disingenuous to public when in fact they are entitled to a full commenting period and a public hearing. Answers to questions are over-simplified and vague with presenter lionizing the strong hand of the Environment Department while the full picture has not been painted for the public.

The facts are the NMED has substantially modified the RCRA Permit, which has changed the classification of the permit from classification level 2 that allows for a public commenting period to a modification classification Model 3, which entitles the public to have a public hearing.  In fact I specifically asked in the Jan 12th meeting, “when do we the public get to comment on the record.”  The question was glossed over.

The more I study the problem the more I see things slip through the cracks

This will allow people to comment on the planned Aquifer/Underground Injection Control (UIC) and the possible impacts on that to the drinking water ground water.

Aquifer Injection Pump and Treat and ARS

The hydrological studies on Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) that the ABCWUA as the permittee from the Office of the State Engineer (OSE) and the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) have not proved the impacts on seeps and springs within the hydrological area of influence nor has it proved that the pH, water temperature difference in order to preserve the natural conditions of groundwater or impacts on surface water and other water rights holders through their beneficial use, and

  1. The chemical analysis of river water does not include calcium and magnesium, which prevents determination of an ion balance in the water, the scaling tendency of the water or the sodium adsorption ration. The scaling tendency indicates the probability of forming (or Removing) a calcium carbonate layer of the downstream distribution system. It also indicates the compatibility with other waters, which the product water may be mixed with.
  2. Consideration should also be given to understanding the effects of mixing pumped groundwater with treated river water, Chemical analysis of proposed well field groundwater source will provide invaluable information for understanding and predicting potential adverse conditions.
  3. Bromide concentration in the water had not been specified; even the modest concentrations of bromide in the feed water can be significantly promoting the formation of Disinfectant By Products (DBPs). It is not clear what the Total Organic Carbon (TOC) consists of. The TOC of the river water is high enough that one must worry about the formation of DBPs. Some of the organic carbon will be removed during the coagulation process, but not all.
  4. It is not clear what residence time would exist between the addition of chlorine and addition of ammonia to convert the chlorine to monochloramine. One of the advantages of using chloramines for disinfection is the lowered tendency to form DPBs. However, if the period of time that the water is exposed to chlorine is too long, this advantage is dissipated. Reference is made to the hazards of use of chlorine gas as disinfectant.  Further investigation and study is needed to prove the viability of these ABCWUA ASR projects and whether they have the ability to provide safe and verifiable water source is require and that any permit already issued without these considerations should be pulled.

Under New Mexico Aquifer Storage and Recovery Act the permittee must show other contaminants or other known plumes of contamination in the area. NMED has a Letter of Understanding (LOU) from the Office of the State Engineer regarding the Water Quality on aquifer injection. Yet there are no regulations on the books requiring NMED to oversee permitting of an injections project.  Under the current law:

Aquifer Storage and Recovery Act and its rules and regulations, NMSA1978, 72-5A-1 through 72-5A-17 (1999 Supp.) Title 19 Chapter 25 Part 8.

The permittee must prove that their actions of the injection process will not affect the sphere of influence of those identified plumes or known contaminants by the potential turbulence of the injection plume and migrating water flows or other actions practiced by the permittee in this case. This has not been acknowledged or talked about.

Underground Injection Control Wells- It has come to our attention that it is up to the State’s discretion to permit the wells under RCRA and/or Safe Drinking Water Act. Whether these injection wells will be a Class IV or Class Five (under 40 CFR 144) and would need to be positive that such reinjection of contaminated water would not endanger underground sources of drinking water. We are requesting that NMED require a permit in order to ensure that the ABCWUA drinking water supply from this very groundwater source is adequately protected and that this permit process is subject to a formal public commenting period and public hearing.  In order to delegate the UIC state program:

According to the UIC federal statues

The Underground Injection Control Program is authorized under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The program is to assure that injection of fluids underground is accomplished in an environmentally safe manner. The Environmental Protection Agency established minimum requirements necessary to meet that objective. Those include:

  1. All injection wells must be either authorized by permit or rule.
  2. Minimum construction and siting requirements.
  3. Requirements for permit applications and processes which must be followed for permit evaluation.

Enforcement of program requirements. —http://www.epa.gov/region6/6en/w/sdwauic.htm

The EPA retains enforcement authority where the states were unable to demonstrate jurisdiction or if a state does not adequately enforce program requirements.

This plume’s footprint is large and has an elaborate pump and treat system that has people asking several questions to which there are no answers. The hydrological studies of the aquifer injection have not been proven or has it been studied and evaluated as to what impacts on seeps and springs within the hydrological area of influence; nor has it proved that the pH, water temperature difference in order to preserve the natural conditions of groundwater or impacts on surface water and other water rights holders regarding their beneficial use, and the following concerning regarding aquifer/underground Controlled injection. The case of the Bulk Facility Fuel Spill it is not an empty borehole that they are plugging. It is injection back into the drinking water aquifer.

The attempt to explain how the aquifer injection is going to work has raised other questions that have not been answered. The concerns of what type of process is going to clean this water have not been addressed.  The must be explained in a written report. The public deserves get the explanation and assurance in writing it is the public health risk at stake.

No formal studies have been done to insure that the injection well will not cause turbulence and disperse contaminants over a wider area, thereby raising the maximum contaminant levels in the aquifer. Nor has there been a report submitted by KAFB on the number of known plumes within a 3 miles radius that could be affected by the infiltration and injection systems plan.  The permit itself recognizes 9 areas of groundwater contamination but the full extent of this contamination is left out of the permit, such as the placement of well, condition of well and screens, construction of the monitoring wells.

Furthermore how the water will be tested and the ultimately treated is another concern. According to the permit issued 7-15-10, Bureau Chief James Bearzi referred to in his response to the Citizens for Environmental Safeguards (CES) Request for Public Information of January 20 & 26M NMED only requires testing for perchlorates for a period of one years. Yet there is no mention of perchlorates testing being done on the Bulk Fuel Facility JP4 and 8!

6.4.1.4. Perchlorate Screening in Groundwater

Monitoring for perchlorate is required for eight consecutive quarters in groundwater monitoring wells installed at the Facility after the effective date of this Permit and in the following existing wells or their replacements: KAFB-1001 through KAFB-1007 (McCormick Ranch/Range wells), KAFB-1901 through KAFB-1904 (Lake Christian wells), and EOD Hill well. The Department reserves the right to include additional wells for perchlorate monitoring. The Permittee shall report all monitoring results on January 31, April 30, July 31, and October 31 of each year for at least 8 consecutive quarters to the Department, unless the Department agrees in writing to a longer reporting period.

The Permittee shall determine the nature, extent, and rate of migration of any perchlorate contamination in groundwater at the Facility and, if necessary, down gradient of the Facility. The detection limit for the monitoring of perchlorate in groundwater shall not exceed 1 ug/L.

If perchlorate is detected in a groundwater at a concentration greater than or equal to 1 ug/L in a groundwater monitoring well, monitoring of perchlorates in such well must continue at a frequency determined by the Department. The frequency shall not exceed one year.

In this case the KAFB only has to test for 1 year out of a 10-year permit!

Other plumes of contaminants that exist in the area should identify and mapped in relation to the Bulk Fuel Facility Jet Fuel Plume. According to NMED web site the permit that was issued in 7/15/2010, there are groundwater contamination sites are listed that show 8 other sites.  Over 268 sites that have been rated “no further action” which doesn’t mean that they are cleaned up it could mean that the contamination is too costly to clean up.   

Other issue with KAFB

According to NMED Website the RCRA Permit that was issued in 7/15/2010. In the permit the groundwater contamination sites are listed that show 8 other sites.  Over 268 sites that have been rated “no further action” which doesn’t mean that they are cleaned up it could mean that the contamination is too costly to clean up.   

  • Permit Part 6.4.1.3. Areas with Groundwater Contamination
  • Groundwater contamination or the potential for groundwater contamination has been identified at the following areas:
  • 1. Tijeras Arroyo Groundwater (TAG) Area – trichloroethylene (TCE) and nitrate;
  • 2. Landfills #4, #5, and #6, LF-008 (SWMU 6-4)–potential for contamination by selenium and TCE;
  • 3. Manzano Base Groundwater – TCE;
  • 4. Sewage Lagoons and Golf Course Pond, WP-026 – TCE, nitrate;
  • 5. Manzano Sewage Treatment Facility, WP-16 (SWMU 6-24) – potential for
  • Contamination;
  • 6. Monitoring well WYO-4 area – TCE;
  • 7. McCormick Ranch — Nitrate;
  • 8. Bulk Fuels Facility, ST-106 and SS-111 — Fuel (JP-4, JP-8, and Aviation Gas) Contamination; and
  • 9. EOD Hill – Perchlorate contamination.
  • The Permittee shall complete an Investigation Work Plan, Investigation Report, or CME Report

New Mexico Environment Department Kirtland Air Force Base

July 2010 Hazardous Waste Facility Permit No.NM9570024423

  • PERMIT PART 6 for each of the nine areas of groundwater contamination in accordance with the compliance schedules in Table I-3 of Permit Attachment I. The Permittee shall complete a CME Report for each area of groundwater contamination that requires remediation, as determined by the Department. In addition, Permittee shall investigate other areas of the Facility, in addition to those listed above, where the Department determines that either groundwater is contaminated or there is potential for groundwater contamination.

Who lives down gradient? Nearly 80,000 to 100,000 people in the Mesa Del Sol community, the village of Mountain View the South Valley Agricultural Community and directly south the Pueblo of Isleta.

What is reported here is not the worse of it. The radionuclide’s for bomb making manufacturing and the Sandia National Laboratory nuclear reactor that has no containment building and government contractors throwing deadly toxic waste in boxes, plastic bags, and steel drums that are decomposing and leaks in into the aquifer.  All of this sits upon the crossroads of three major faults; just south of the facility is the Seismic Facility for USGS, yesterday there was a reported earthquake measuring. 2.9 on the Richter Scale on the Los Alamos National Laboratory reservation along the Jemez Caldera Rim New Mexico’s Super Volcano.

To have these facilities in a metropolitan area is not smart, puts at risks the lives of hundreds of thousands of people along the Rio Grande, destroying our biosphere and there holds out little promise that our children will know the Earth as we did as children.  We are the last generation to do anything about the problems at hand. Join us in our challenge to tell the stories of who we are and how we are going to transform this world despite the realities we face.

Posted by: indiesfaves | January 30, 2011

Writing a State Senate Memorial on Water Quality Issues

This past week I offered to help draft legislation for the New Mexico State Legislature a Senate Memorial on protecting Water Quality in the State of New Mexico. Some folks worked on it. I worked on it and it goes through another round of citizens groups then to the legislative council service. I have submitted this back to the citizens group who are wrestling with government agency and local officials over what right  the public has in knowing where 8 million gall. of jet fuel in the groundwater aquifer is and where most of the drinking water comes from in the southern half of the Albuquerque. No telling if this will go anywhere or whether anyone in the groups will agree to it. The real measure of its life will be if it gets adopted by the legislature.

What I do know is that being denied information under the “Request for Public Documents” law these pubilc and private entities using national security and the Patriots act act as a means of withholding information is dangerous to our democracy. What is consumed  by the public is our fundamental human right. The moral reasoning behind impacting human health in the region for water storage at all costs is not acceptable. this is what seems to be at the heart of the issue. Using a means of water storage that will impact water indefinitely is too much of a risk and the ‘Precautionary Prinicpal’ should be adopted and applied. We deserve to have that right implemented several cities have already done this In order to come to terms with climate change we must start somewhere, why not now.

People need answers and they have a right to those answers. Democracy needs accountability. This is just the beginning.

A Memorial Requesting that the NM Department of Health and NM Department of NMED Evaluate in a Public Study and Report the Quality of Potable Water being delivered to the customers in the Albuquerque Bernalillo Water Utility Authority (ABCWUA) system; in comparison to all artesian groundwater productions deep-wells that ABCWUA had been using exclusively; to the quality of treated and source Rio Grande Diversion Water, and the effectiveness of the treatment process and the risks to public health on ingesting low levels contaminants.

1.  WHEREAS, The Residents have concerns over the water quality issues; whom had previously known good health and that some of the deep aquifer water being of a good pH value.

2. WHEREAS, An additional water source of the SAN JUAN/CHAMA/ RIO GRANDE RIVER has now been diverted that includes treated effluent from several cities upstream and

4. WHEREAS, the drinking water delivered by ABCWUA to an estimated 500,000 people for consumption includes infants, seniors, the infirmed and others with weakened or underdeveloped immune systems and

5. WHEREAS, It is the responsibility to the ABCWUA to provide public information, (to be posted on their website and inserted through their billing information), including the water testing the quality of source water and treated water ready for delivery (before and After treatment) and tap water; that the ABCWUA water treatments are under the maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) and is better or equal to the deep water production wells and is safe for those infants, seniors the infirmed and other with weakened or underdeveloped immune systems and

6. WHEREAS, there has been no public hearings or public commenting periods on water quality studies, testing, permits and independent analysis by which the ABCWUA is now doing their testing and treatment; members of the public has lost confidence in the ABCWUA ability to provide healthy water, and

7. WHEREAS, The public has been denied and has experienced difficulties in obtaining public information and detailed information of the water quality and as to where each well is and what pollutant impacts the municipal productions wells are experiencing and has adopted policies and practices that supersede the New Mexico State law NMSA 1978 Chapter 14 Request for Public Documents act, and

8. WHEREAS, The need for transparency in government with regard to treatment technologies used and its reliability, and

9. WHEREAS, The hydrological studies on Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) that the ABCWUA as the permittee from the Office of the State Engineer (OSE) and the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) have not proved the impacts on seeps and springs within the hydrological area of influence nor has it proved that the pH, water temperature difference in order to preserve the natural conditions of groundwater or impacts on surface water and other water rights holders through their beneficial use, and

  1. The chemical analysis of river water does not include calcium and magnesium, which prevents determination of an ion balance in the water, the scaling tendency of the water or the sodium adsorption ration. The scaling tendency indicates the probability of forming (or Removing) a calcium carbonate layer of the downstream distribution system. It also indicates the compatibility with other waters, which the product water may be mixed with.
  2. Consideration should also be given to understanding the effects of mixing pumped groundwater with treated river water, Chemical analysis of proposed well field groundwater source will provide invaluable information for understanding and predicting potential adverse conditions.
  3. Bromide concentration in the water had not been specified; even the modest concentrations of bromide in the feed water can be significantly promoting the formation of Disinfectant By Products (DBPs). It is not clear what the Total Organic Carbon (TOC) consists of. The TOC of the river water is high enough that one must worry about the formation of DBPs. Some of the organic carbon will be removed during the coagulation process, but not all.
  4. It is not clear what residence time would exist between the addition of chlorine and addition of ammonia to convert the chlorine to monochloramine. One of the advantages of using chloramines for disinfection is the lowered tendency to form DPBs. However, if the period of time that the water is exposed to chlorine is too long, this advantage is dissipated. Reference is made to the hazards of use of chlorine gas as disinfectant.  Further investigation and study is needed to prove the viability of these ABCWUA ASR projects and whether they have the ability to provide safe and verifiable water source is require and that any permit already issued without these considerations should be pulled.

10. WHEREAS, and update to the EPA Source Water Assessment (SWA) that includes the raw diversion source water and there has been not information provided to the public by NMED or ABCWUA on the status of a request to update the assessment, and

11. WHEREAS, This region of the Rio Grande suffers from of radionuclides contamination, as proven by independent analysis; that migrations in air and water from the national laboratories and other sources and the allowable levels of these contaminants are higher than those recognized and recommended in the study on radionuclide’s in the Rio Grande  by DR. A. Makhanjani of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research.

12. WHEREAS, The ABCWUA water treatment and delivery system is antiquated and corroded and does not include contemporary filtration systems found in other metropolitan cities; and that the system is in need of a complete overhaul. Some of the municipal production wells are not made to standards that include annular casings to keep contaminates from entering the water delivery system and being consumed by the public, and

13 WHEREAS, the EPA is now considering maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) and testing for Perchlorates, Chromium 6, PPCP’s and other Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC s), AND

14. WHEREAS, The some of these contaminants at low levels have and accumulative effect that cause serious health effects years later.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO,

THAT:

  1. The NM Health Department in conjunction with the NMED Safe Drinking Water conduct a study of the quality of the source water and quality of Rio Grande Diversion water and the treated water in the delivery system with comparison to the artesian deep water aquifer; that all testing be conducted by an outside independent source.
  2. Consideration should be given to the legislated Federal and state environmental and cultural resource requirements and their impacts on the ARS, testing, new treatment facilities and delivery infrastructure, projects scope, schedule and costs. Studied (such as the environmental impacts statements and other NEPA compliance studies, Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, compliance studies and Air Quality and Stormwater requirements) required on these projects are time-consuming and must be identified and planned for.
  3. That a Feasibility Study not included on projects that need compliance risks significant increases in the total estimated costs of the projects which can be substantial.
  4. A report on the treatment system with updated technologies and redesign to include fail safe features. This report is to include the Rio Rancho waste water treatment facility outflow and its contaminant releases and how they impact the Rio Grande surface water quality; to be completed within one year as an open public document on the governmental websites with three informational meetings on the status of the Public study report.
  5. The Public Study Report should examine the impacts of the ABCWUA ASR plan and permit to the aquifer ground and surface water, beneficial use plans and examine the impacts of raw river water, treated effluent and tap water; the report to include recommendations.
  6. Be it further resolved, that the EPA Primary and Secondary and Emerging contaminants be included in the report; to include other contaminants now being studied for MCLs by the EPA and Global Water community of Water quality specialist e.g. FUNGI, CHROMIUM 6, NANO PARTICLES, PHARMACEUTICALS, ETC.).
  7. This public study and report review includes member’s appointed by from environmental organizations and concerned qualified citizens.

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