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Mountain View

Commuters cannot tell from the freeway that a ten-mile stretch from Bridge Boulevard to the Isleta curve, between Broadway and Second Street, is, next to Los Alamos, Sandia National Laboratories, and Kirtland Air Force Base and other military installations, the most polluted area in the state, as it has been since the 1950s. At first glance, this area seems like a wasteland of junkyards and small industries, but it is also residential (p. 113).
  • In the 1950s scientists and engineers at the South Valley Works [the third point in New Mexico’s nuclear research and manufacturing triangle, LANL and SNL being the other two]…did research and development on nuclear engines. This same site, now owned by General Electric, was the subject of the largest environmental lawsuit ever brought in New Mexico. In October 1999, the state attorney general, Patricia Madrid, sought some $4 billion in damages from GE and numerous other companies, alleging that the groundwater in the vicinity of the plant was permanently ruined and would never be potable again (p. 113).
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  • Into this area of the South Valley drains the massive Tijeras Arroyo, the natural runoff channel for nearly a hundred square miles of the Sandia and Manzano mountains. The arroyo runs right through Kirtland Air Force Base and down the southern end of Mountain View, emptying into the bosque and the Rio Grande. It is thought to have been a major illegal dumping site for the military and others over many decades (p. 113).
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  • "Thirty-one of those polluting industries [regulated by the EPA] are in the Mountain View neighborhood… [Some of the major polluters in the Mountain View area] include Public Service Company of New Mexico’s Persons Station, seven petroleum fuel bulk terminals, Rek Chemical, and thirty-five other hazardous waste facilities that include a water [sewer] treatment facility, a dairy, more than twenty-five auto recycling yards, five gravel and concrete companies, a solid waste landfill, a fertilizer factory facility, and a chicken farm. In addition there are more than sixteen major air-polluting industries and sixty-six smaller polluting industries in the area.
    spacer gif Along with all of those problems, [the Mountain View area] is home of the largest underground nitrate plume in New Mexico. The plume is about three-quarters of a mile wide and thirty feet deep (quote from The Albuquerque Journal, p. 114)."

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  The intersection of Prosperity SE and Prosperity Ave. SE, the main street through the neighborhood of Mountain View. September 2006.
  Irma Aceves with her daughter Marizabella (7 years old) outside their mobile home in Mountain View, where the family has lived for the last eighteen years. Their well water is not potable and Marizabella has developed health issues from the fugitive dust in the area. November 2006.
  Mountain View is zoned both industrial and residential, leaving the citizens with little recourse to fight contaminating neighbors. October 2006.
  Petroleum tanks across the canal from GE in Albuquerque’s South Valley. December 2006.
  Old tires in one of the many junk yards in Mountain View. December 2006.
  Super U Pull, a junkyard on Broadway. January 2007.
  Agricultural land in south Mountain View. October 2006.
  The Perez family (Gloria and Armando) lives next door to a sewage substation by the river in Mountain View; they complain of noxious odors. March 2007.
  The Perez family (Gloria and Armando) lives next door to this sewage substation by the river in Mountain View; they complain of noxious odors. March 2007.
  Jacob, 18, who suffers from asthma and his brother Joel, 13, who has sleep apnea, play basket ball in their backyard. Whether or not their conditions are caused by environmental issues in the neighborhood, the treatments and outcomes are affected by them. January 2007.
  Tere Gutierrez peers out her living room window. She suspects drug activity on her street, but cannot report it due to retaliatory threats. She complains of the piles of trash and junk she sees filling her next-door neighbor’s yard, creating a rodent problem. She says an abandoned house two lots down is a breeding ground for kittens and roaches, and abandoned cars can sit on the street for the better part of a year. December 2006.
  On Second Street in Mountain View; the only store in the neighborhood, says Julio Dominguez of South Valley Partners. December 2006.
  Julio Dominguez of South Valley Partners points out a dead acequia across the railroad tracks from the GE plant. He says that these used to be irrigated lands but now they are junk lots: the water was polluted both by GE and by creosote pits used for soaking railroad ties. The acequia was shut down. October 2006.
  Train track heading west near the Tijeras Arroyo. November 2006.
  Dirt bike tracks up the Tijeras Arroyo. November 2006.
  Interstate 25 crosses Tijeras Arroyo. January 2007.
  The cement lining of the South Diversion Channel (called the Tijeras Arroyo further upstream) ends here as it nears the Rio Grande. October 2006.
  Scrap metal yard. Junk lots of all kinds pepper the neighborhood. October 2006.