Case Work: Water

Kirtland Air Force Base Jet Fuel Spill

LOCATION: Albuquerque, NM
INITIATION DATE: November 2015
CLIENTS/PARTNERS: SouthWest Organizing Project (SWOP) and four individuals
OPPOSING PARTIES: U.S. Air Force, New Mexico Environment Department
STATUS: Ongoing
ATTORNEYS: Douglas Meiklejohn, Jon Block


A fuel spill bigger than the Valdez oil spill – but underground. Nearly 24 million gallons of jet fuel is migrating through Albuquerque’s aquifer towards one of the City’s biggest drinking water well fields. The Air Force (which spilled the fuel) and NMED (which is supposed to be regulating cleanup) have taken a lackadaisical approach to remediation so far…if we are not successful in winning speedier, more effective cleanup, there may be no urgency until drinking water wells start becoming contaminated.



11/13/2015 – The NMELC has filed a notice of intent to sue with the US Air Force, US Environmental Protection Agency, US Secretary of Defense and the New Mexico Attorney General over the failure to implement productive measures toward cleaning up the massive Kirtland Jet Fuel Spill. Notice of Intent to Sue