CUBA, NM (KRQE) - Clean-up of a Santa Fe National Forest creek soiled when atanker truck rolled over will continue for at least a few moreweeks.
Federal, state and local crews have cleaned up a dry arroyoalong State Road 126 about 13 miles east of Cuba. The dammed areawhere the asphalt-oil mix met the water is being cleaned by mixingthe contaminated water with sand.
“Normally we're used to oil spills. This is actuallyasphalt, and it behaved a whole lot differently," said SteveMcDonald with the U.S. Forest Service. "We've actually gone throughthree vacuum trucks in a row.
"When we try and pump it, unlike oil, it actually forms intothis thick mass, and the hoses get completely plugged up with thistar-like substance."
Crews said they’re going to continue cleaning the dammedarea through the weekend.
Water samples taken from the river on Wednesday still are beingevaluated.
“We’re looking for whatever we can find,whatever’s different than the background sample,” saidNina Wells with the New Mexico Environment Department.
Despite that, environmentalists think the water that flowseventually into the Jemez River is not a danger to wildlife orhumans.
"We don't have any reason to believe that the contamination hasgone past here, so we don't want anyone to be afraid or worry orthink we're not going to address any concerns," said Jhana Enders,the on-scene coordinator with the Environmental ProtectionAgency.
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