Crews Begin Cleanup at Albuquerque Superfund Site

Nov. 10, 2003

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency contractors have begun cleaning TCE-contaminated groundwater in downtown Albuquerque, N.M.

The plume of contamination was discovered in 1989 and was designated a Superfund site four years ago.

The groundwater is contaminated with a cancer-causing chlorinated solvent called TCE (trichloroethane). Officials say the pollution poses no immediate health risk. But EPA says it could threaten municipal water supplies within five years if not cleaned.

The TCE leaked into the groundwater from a dry cleaning shop in business from 1940 to 1972.

The contaminated plume is about one mile long, a half-mile wide and at least 544 feet deep.

EPA says the cleanup could take up to 30 years and cost $8 million.

Source: The Associated Press