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Environmental Contaminants What We Do...

Contaminants 101

Implementing our mission and vision requires a detailed understanding of the primary contaminants in New Mexico and the sources of those contaminants. Once these are identified, studies can be designed to evaluate in detail the nature, extent, and biological effects on fish and wildlife. Study results then provide the information necessary to create appropriate remedial and/or preventative strategies to restore environmental quality. In New Mexico, we most frequently encounter the following contaminants in some regions and/or facilities around the State:

Chlorine (Wastewater treatment plants throughout New Mexico)
Copper (Southwest mining areas)
DDT and metabolites (lower Pecos & lower Rio Grande)*
Mercury (power plant emissions- lakes and reservoirs)
Molybdenum (Questa/Red River and Southwest mining areas)
Ammonia (Wastewater treatment plants throughout New Mexico)
PCBs (Industrial areas and DOE/DOD facilities)*
Salts (Southeast potash region)
Selenium (Northwest region irrigation infrastructure)
Uranium (West-Central uranium mining region)

* Worldwide, the Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) of greatest concern include aldrin, chlordane, DDT, dieldrin, endrin, heptachlor, mirex, toxaphene, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), hexachlorobenzene, dioxins and furans.

This webpage was last modified on: December 21, 2005

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