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Report: Kirtland fuel spill could contaminate water in 30 years

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) - It could be 30 years before a huge plume of contamination at Kirtland Air Force Base reaches the nearest drinking water wells in New Mexico's largest city.

That finding is part of a draft report released Monday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in response to a public records request filed by the watchdog group Citizen Action.

The report's author, Scott Ellinger, modeled several scenarios in an effort to determine movement of the plume, which consists of jet fuel and a chemical called EDB.

While it will likely be some time before the contamination reaches city wells, there's uncertainty around the speed at which it will reach a smaller well operated by Albuquerque's VA hospital.

Ellinger says it would be prudent for officials to tackle the contamination sooner rather than later.

ABQ BioPark presents annual River of Lights on Nov. 30

ABQ BioPark presents annual River of Lights on Nov. 30

The River of Lights, presented by the ABQ BioPark, will be returning on Saturday, November 30th.

The annual event is the largest holiday lights display in New Mexico. With millions of lights in display, live music, food, drinks and unique holiday gifts, visitors will be able to ring in the holiday season with joy.

"River of Lights has become a holiday tradition for so many families in New Mexico," said Maryann Torrez, BioPark Operations and Events Manager. "It's exciting to see families search for their favorite displays, discover new sculptures, listen to the music groups play and take in all the activities we have to offer. They love it."

The River of Lights will open at 6pm every evening beginning this Saturday through January 5th. The festival will be closed December 24, 25, 31 and January 1.

Tickets may be purchased online or from any BioPark cashier.

Visit www.cabq.com for more information.

Rebate for green toilets to be reduced

Rebate for green toilets to be reduced

The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority says that they will reduce their toilet rebate come January 1st of 2014.

The rebate that is offered to water customers for replacing older, high-flow toilets with high-efficiency models will drop from $150 to $100.

A spokesperson for the authority, Katherine Yuhas says they still encourage residents to go with new models because of the amount of water they help people save.

“Changing one toilet saves an average of 10,000 gallons of water each year,” says Yuhas.

Customers should look for a toilet labeled with the EPA Water Sense logo and can also search for approved models on the Water Authority website.

PNM gets green light for efficiency incentives plan

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) -- The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission has approved a plan by Public Service Company of New Mexico to offer $22.5 million in incentives for residents and businesses to reduce their energy use.
    
The PNM plan will give customers opportunities and incentives to improve energy efficiency through new lighting and appliances, weatherization and other building upgrades.  In its plan, the utility said it expects energy efficiency to provide 82.5 gigawatt hours in savings over the next two years.
    
The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project is calls approval of the plan is  "a win for ratepayers."

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Butterfly Pavilion closing for the season

Butterfly Pavilion closing for the season

If you’ve yet to visit the Butterfly Pavillion this year, October 13th will be your last chance.

 

With the arrival of balloonists and cool temperatures of fall, it is time for the Botanic Garden's PNM Butterfly Pavilion to close for the season.

 

New Mexico to celebrate National Public Land Day

New Mexico to celebrate National Public Land Day

The state of New Mexico is encouraging citizens to visit and support the state parks in the state in honor of National Public Lands Day this Saturday, September 28th.

This year, New Mexico is staying focused on the commitment to support public lands and encourage everyone to stay active outdoors.

A number of activities have been organized for the special event across the state:

Albuquerque nominated for best sunset in North America

Albuquerque nominated for best sunset in North America

Albuquerque is on an online contest once again after winning the title of America’s Best Regional Food with green chili.

Albuquerque is in the race along with 20 other locations to be the best place in North America to see the sunset. 10 Best, associated with USA Today, is running the contest.

They claim on their website that the one of the main reason the city is in contention for the title is because of the grandeur of the Albuquerque Tram.

“One of the first things any Albuquerque resident will do when they have visitors is take them to the top of Sandia Peak (10,378 feet above sea level) on the world’s longest aerial tram to watch the sunset over the extinct volcanoes of the West Mesa,” according to the site’s description of the view.

Voting for the contest is still open through October 14th. The winner will be announced on October 16th at noon.