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Courthouse Contamination In Santa Fe County

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

Santa Fe County has been receiving questions from concerned citizens regarding the safety and status of the new Courthouse site since discovering higher than expected levels of contamination. Below is a list of the most frequently asked questions and their respective answers.

Q: Will the County remove all of the gasoline and the contaminated water and soil at the Courthouse site?
A: Yes. We will be cleaning up all of the contaminated soil and water on our property.

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Q: Where is the contaminated water and soil coming from?
A: The courthouse site contamination is the result of gasoline that leaked from storage tanks of gas stations which operated from 1920’s to the 1970’s (see map below). We need the Environment Department’s (NMED) help in identifying the source of the contaminants before we can clean it up.

Q: Can’t the County just clean up all of the gasoline in the area?
A; The contamination is flowing onto the County courthouse site from adjoining properties. We need the help of NMED and surrounding property owners to clean up the underground contamination and keep contaminants from coming onto the courthouse site.

Q: Is the County working with the New Mexico Environment Department?
A: Yes. The County will also assist the NMED to clean up the adjoining sites. The County is applying to the NMED’s Voluntary Remediation Program so that the professional expertise of NMED can be utilized to ensure that the site is clean. This application has been in the works for several months and the County has been working closely with NMED ensure a successful application and process.

Q: What’s next for the project now that the County knows the extent of the contamination?
A: There will be a public meeting with the Board of County Commissioners on May 5 at 6pm where project leaders will be answering questions and addressing concerns raised by Commissioners and the public.