New Mexico’s getting federal money to continue cleanup of a Superfund site on main street in the city of Roswell. And the site has nothing to do with UFO’s. Roswell is a city known for UFO claims dating back to the late 1940s.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the awarding of $350,000 to the New Mexico Environment Department. The money will be used for cleanup activities at the McGaffey and Main groundwater plume Superfund site.
“Cleaning up contaminated sites is central to EPA’s mission of protecting human health and the environment,” said Regional Administrator Anne Idsal. “This grant further empowers the state of New Mexico and the city of Roswell to lead this effort at the McGaffey and Main site.”
“New Mexicans living in Roswell deserve to see this site cleaned up in a scientifically sound and timely manner,” said New Mexico Environment Department Secretary James Kenney. “Securing federal funding is a critical piece of ensuring that happens.”
The funds will supplement remedial activities and characterize the type and scope of contamination at the site. The funding allows NMED to lead the cleanup while involving other state and local partners and to consult with EPA before, during or after cleanup activities to protect human health and the environment.
The 550-acre McGaffey and Main Groundwater Plume site includes locations where several dry cleaners operated from 1956 to 1963, contaminating soil and soil vapor, indoor air, and groundwater with tetrachloroethylene (PCE) and trichloroethylene (TCE).
A PCE plume in groundwater extends over two miles to the southeast of the 1100 block of Main Street. EPA and NMED completed a five-year review of this site in September 2017, which found the leading edge of the groundwater plume has expanded about 2,200 feet further to the southeast of the dry‐cleaning area since the 2008 Record of Decision.
EPA recommended a public information campaign to notify well owners and users of well water that could potentially be impacted. Additionally, EPA recommended that private wells in and around the groundwater plume area should be sampled for the contaminants.