Feedback: Fort Drum Fuel Spill Bigger & Costlier Than Expected
Underneath the ground at Wheeler-Sack Army Air Field still lies about 300,000 gallons of fuel.
In 2006, Fort Drum originally acknowledged 160,000 gallons of fuel had spilled.
But, a subsequent 7 News investigation determined the number was actually 345,000 gallons, which Fort Drum later acknowledged.
Now in 2014, officials say the number is closer to 550,000.
Plus, the cleanup price tag, originally thought to be $10 million, is now $63 million.
"Things changed over time. It became clear that we were going to have to run these systems a lot longer, that it's going to be a much more expensive project," said James Miller, Fort Drum environmental chief.
The price doesn't even include the $14.6 million that was spent on a state-of-the-art fueling system, which is designed to prevent a spill like this from happening again.
"Part of the facility is not available to us. We have 4 fueling points that are in operation and two fueling points that are still in the remediation area that we won't be able to have access to for several years," said Joe White, chief of Fort Drum's Aviation Division.
So while aircraft can now refuel at Wheeler-Sack, the cleanup continues down below.
"It's a long haul. It's a long process. It could be many, many, many years to come before the last drop of fuel is removed," said Miller.
But Fort Drum claims that last drop will be removed.