Geologist: Water supply safe from radioactive contamination

Fort Bliss, US Army
Wednesday, July 17, 2013 - 5:11pm

Several unanswered questions remained after an announcement by Fort Bliss informing the public of the discovery of hazardous radioactive materials at Biggs Army Airfield.

The discovery of the waste came after a former airman said he helped bury radioactive waste at Biggs Army Airfield in the 1950's which is an area that's right over local aquifer the Hueco Bolson.

Joshua Villalobos, a Geology professor at El Paso Community College weighed in on whether the material could affect the borderland's water supply. He said the amount of time it would take to get from a few feet all the way down to the very bottom could take hundreds of years. The process is even slower when there is little rainfall, and even if it did push down, its not something that should El Pasoans should be overly concerned with.

"It would not be heading down it wouldn't go uphill toward these more established parts of El Paso," he said. "It's next to a very well developed part of El Paso so we would have seen some residual effects of this if it was a major contamination."

Fort Bliss officials will have more information at a press conference Friday to answer more questions about how these materials could affect residents.

A check into the Air Force archives revealed official unit histories of both units during the time frame in question show no mention of hazardous/nuclear waste, disposal or storage on or near Biggs AFB.


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