Area watersheds exceed state standards for PCBs and other metals

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By The Staff

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The state Environment Department says watersheds in northern New Mexico's Pajarito (Pah-hah-REE'-toh) Plateau exceeded state standards for polychlorinated byphenyls, aluminum and other metals.

The study primarily focused on storm water samples collected between 2004 and 2008 and represents the largest single surface water quality assessment conducted by the state agency.

The Pajarito Plateau, on the eastern slope of the Jemez Mountains, includes watersheds that drain through the Los Alamos area to the Rio Grande.

The study did not focus on where the materials originated.

The information is part of the department's draft 2010-2012 list of whether waters meet designated uses. Comments will be taken through Feb. 16.

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