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AMEC Selected for Superfund Groundwater Cleanup Project in New Mexico


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., May 26, 2005 --/WORLD-WIRE/-- AMEC’s Earth & Environmental office in Albuquerque has signed a $3.6 million contract to develop and operate a system to clean up a federal Superfund site in northern New Mexico.

The North Railroad Avenue Superfund site, located north of Santa Fe in the city of Española and on the Santa Clara Indian Reservation, consists of a plume of contaminated groundwater approximately three-quarters mile long, 800 feet wide and as much as 260 feet below ground surface. The contaminants, tetrachloroethylene (PCE) and its daughter products including trichloroethylene (TCE), are derived from dry cleaning solvents and are suspected cancer-causing agents, according to the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

The federally funded and state-contracted cleanup project “will help protect the health of citizens in Española and Santa Clara Pueblo as well as return millions of gallons of groundwater to constructive use,” stated Ron Curry, Secretary of the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED).

The aquifer in which the plume is located is the only source of drinking water for the City of Española and Santa Clara Pueblo. The plume has affected approximately 280 million gallons of groundwater and has forced the closure of two municipal drinking water wells. However, all other wells in the vicinity are being monitored and have shown no adverse impacts from the plume, according to the NMED.

The cleanup plan envisions the use of a pumping system around the now-closed Norge Town Dry Cleaners to capture and flush out the highest concentrations of undissolved contamination, plus the use of bioremediation on dissolved contaminants at or near the source area, in the deep zone, and along State Route 201.

Removal of the highest concentration of undissolved contamination will be accomplished by surfactant enhanced aquifer restoration (SEAR). In brief, SEAR technology utilizes a flushing technique with surfactant (soap is a common surfactant) to mobilize and capture the undissolved mass of solvent-based contamination. The second phase of the cleanup, bioremediation, involves the underground injection of a substance that is designed to encourage natural bacteria to degrade contaminants. The bioremediation plan calls for three carbon-source substances - whey, sodium benzoate and a compound that releases lactic acid - to be tested at the site to determine which works best.

AMEC has extensive capabilities and experience in the field of soil and groundwater remediation. Similar to the Española site, AMEC has designed, installed and successfully operated SEAR and bioremediation systems across the world. In New Mexico, AMEC has managed investigation and remediation efforts at dozens of sites employing a wide range of technologies including bioremediation.

AMEC’s environmental services business operates from a network of 100 offices across the United States and Canada, as well as locations in Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Russia and Peru. It provides extensive environmental services around the globe, including oil and gas developments in Russia, construction support services to the U.S. Air Force, and assistance to major mining projects in Canada and South America. The company is involved with two of the largest environmental cleanup projects in North America - the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state and the Sydney Tar Ponds project in Nova Scotia.

For more information visit the AMEC website:

Brad Christensen, media relations director, AMEC Earth & Environmental: 602-432-1339 or

Mike Schulz, project manager, AMEC Earth & Environmental Albuquerque: 505-821-1801 or

Lauren Gallagher, media relations, AMEC Americas: 202-350-5700 or

Jon Goldstein, communications director, New Mexico Environment Department: 505-827-0314

Notes to Editors
AMEC is an international project management and services company that designs, delivers and supports infrastructure assets for customers worldwide across the public and private sectors. AMEC employs 44,000 people in more than 40 countries, generating annual revenues of around US$8 billion. In the United States, AMEC has approximately 4,000 employees operating from 96 offices in 38 states. The company works across the public and private sectors, locally and internationally and in a range of sectors including transport, oil and gas and power as well as generally across industry and commerce.

AMEC designs, delivers and supports infrastructure assets. Specific services include project management, environmental and technical consultancy, architectural and engineering design, funding and feasibility studies, planning, procurement, construction and multi-technical services, facilities management, maintenance and decommissioning.


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