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Superfund site gets contractor

By Tribune Staff
December 10, 2004
The Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway has hired TRC, an environmental engineering company based in Connecticut and with offices in Albuquerque, as supervising contractor for cleaning up an Environmental Protection Agency Superfund site in the South Valley.

The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, the railroad’s predecessor company, operated a railroad-tie wood treatment plant from 1908 to 1972 at the site, 3300 Second St. S.W.

The plant was dismantled in 1972, leaving soil and groundwater with creosote and other contaminants, according to the EPA, which has said the cost of cleanup could be as much as $64 million.

Riaz Ahmed, TRC’s project manager for the site, and Matt Hiatte, spokesman for Burlington Northern, said Thursday it was too soon to say how much the cleanup would cost or when the work would begin.

“There is no contract amount,” Riaz said, adding that “work on the design phase hasn’t started.”

Hiatte said work plans have been submitted to the EPA.

Both men said investigatory work to determine the degree of contamination began at the site in 1985. The site was placed on the EPA’s National Priorities List in 1995.

A settlement agreement was reached by the railroad, the EPA and the state in September, specifying that the railroad would pay all costs for the cleanup and pay New Mexico and the U.S. Department of the Interior $1.1 million for injuries to migratory bird habitat and groundwater resources.

TRC, according information at its Web site – www.trcsolutions.com – also is working on the cleanup of a waste-oil facility Superfund site in Maine, a hazardous waste dump Superfund site in California and a petrochemical company Superfund site in New York state.

Events

New Lego exhibit at the Wheels Museum. View The New Mexico Lego Users Group has
partnered with WHEELS to have a beautiful Lego Train layout for children of all ages to enjoy. The exhibit will vary from season to season and we invite you to come see this new Lego train exhibit.

Do you have a few hours each month to help the Wheels Museum? Volunteers are needed so the Museum can be open more; run the model railroad trains, also help needed with events, marketing, fund raising. Call Leba Freed at (505) 243-6269.

Febuary 16, 11 am. Bob Bovee Long Steel Rails concert. This program for all ages presents songs and stories about the famous trains, rail workers, hobos, train wrecks and train robbers. Call or email Leba Freed for reservations at (505) 243-6269 or leba4@aol.com.

March 17, Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at WHEELS. Movie, tours, train ride and food celebration.

April 1, 1 pm. Doug Figgs and Badger. Back by popular demand. By reservations only (505) 243- 6269. Doug’s show was sold out last year, so call early! Donation: $10.00.

April 8, 11 am. “Historic Albuquerque” Ronn Perea will present old Albuquerque anecdotes including delightful stories about our beloved Alvarado Hotel and the politicians, actors and entertainers who stayed there. This is a free event but, of course, donations are always appreciated.

April 22, Wheels Museum Day trip to Rancho De Chimayo Restaurante, El Santuario de Chimayo and the Santa Fe Plaza. Call Leba or Janet at (505) 243-6269 for more information. The museum is a 501C3 non-profit community organization whose mission is to create a transportation museum at the downtown Albuquerque Steam Locomotive Repair Shops.

May 19-May 23, Train trip to the Grand Canyon. Only a few spaces left.Scheduled through Amtrak Vacations, call Leba or Janet at (505) 243-6269 for reservations and more information.