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BNSF completes more than a decade's worth of remediation work in New Mexico

Burlington Northern Santa Fe recently completed remediation and restoration work on a Sante Fe Lake Superfund site one mile south of the Class I's Clovis, N.M., yard.

In the early 1900s, wastewater began seeping from the yard into the lake. In the late 1970s, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency conducted an environmental investigation of the lake, leading to the creation of a Superfund site in 1983.

BNSF began remediation work in 1988, including construction of a fence to limit access, and a dike and moat to prevent rainfall runoff, and enable lake water to evaporate and expose sediments.

The railroad then treated contaminated soil (125,235 cubic yards) and sediment (57,245 cubic yards) to reduce hydrocarbons and control degradation.

BNSF later began restoring the site, planting native grasses within the lake basin and any other disturbed areas.

On March 17, EPA deleted the site from its Superfund priority list.

BNSF plans to maintain the lake by routinely sampling groundwater and ensuring that native grasses remain the primary vegetation.

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More News from 4/17/2003