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 – – 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.