Cleanup of Spilled Jet Fuel at Fort Drum Could Take 10 Years

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Army officials say it could take as long as 10 years and cost $10 million to clean up 350,000 gallons of jet fuel that has leaked into the ground at Fort Drum's Wheeler-Sack Army Airfield.

Fort Drum Public Works Director James Corriveau says the Army has spent about $2 million so far to recover about 32,000 gallons of spilled fuel through five wells. The Army will add 10 more wells this summer.

The recovered fuel is being shipped to a recycling plant where it will be processed and returned to the military for use in heating plants or as vehicle fuel.

Corriveau says the fuel may have been leaking since as early as 2001 or 2002. It wasn't discovered until April 2006. Investigators traced the leak to a faulty valve on a sump beneath a refueling oasis on the airfield's tarmac.