ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - State environmental officials say a massive jet fuel spill threatening Albuquerque's water supply could be much larger than originally thought.
Officials have previously estimated the decades-old spill from Kirtland Air Force base to be about 8 million gallons. But state geologist William Moats, who made the original calculations, recently estimated the spill could be as large as 24 million gallons -- or twice the size of the spill from the Exxon Valdez oil tanker in Alaska in 1989.
Jim Davis, head of the New Mexico Environment Department's resource protection division, calls Moats' newest calculation a "first-order estimate" based on new data from Air Force monitoring wells. Still, he emphasized that no one really knows how large the spill is. And he says he is confident it can be remediated, no matter what the size.