Increase in water testing around Amarillo airport - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Increase in water testing around Amarillo airport

Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA

Left over jet fuel in the ground at Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport has the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) calling for more water monitoring in that area.

Airport officials have been working to control the fuel plume discovered in the ground since 2014.

Old jet fuel was found when clearing out what was left of the old air force base.

Eight 7,000-gallon underground fuel storage tanks were found to still have some jet fuel residue left inside from decades ago.

"We started removing all those tanks and noticed that there was a little bit of product in the ground," said Sara Frees, Director of Aviation for the airport. "This task order was really to help identify the limits of the plume for the jet fuel, and then also understand what other additional testing we may have to do for TCEQ requirements."

State officials began quarterly water testing in 2015, with one quarter not testing so well.

"We had three out of the four quarters tested just fine," said Frees. "The one quarter fell in line with the heavy amount of rain that we received in 2015, so we did let TCEQ know that. [We checked] that we're seeing where the product is, how much is in there."

Now the TCEQ is requesting four new water monitoring wells be installed to make sure the fuel does not spread.

The Amarillo City Council approved $76,681.10 for the new wells last week.

Airport officials said the water affected does not go into any homes in the area, but they want to clean up the water before people could be affected.

"The big thing is that we're making sure that we're being good stewards of the environment, so if there is additional jet fuel or diesel fuel in the ground, that we're making sure it doesn't go any further where it could affect someone in Amarillo," said Frees." 

Drilling for these four new wells, and the next round of quarterly testing, is scheduled to begin later this week.

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