WASHINGTON (CN) – Parts of the Ellsworth Air Force base, outside Rapid City, S.D., will be removed from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund Site list after 40 years worth of chlorinated solvents, metal shavings and waste fuel have been removed from the site.
In operation since 1942, Ellsworth has been a training facility for B-17 bomber crews, the operations headquarters of the Titan I intercontinenal ballistic missile and the Minuteman I and Minuteman II missile systems. It is currently the home base of the 28th Bomb Wing consisting mostly of B-1B Lancer strategic bombers.
The 4,858 acre base was placed on the list of the most heavily polluted industrial sites in the U.S. in 1990. Investigation and clean-up began in 1992 when the site was subdivided into twelve operational units for clean-up.
In 2006 clean-up at most operational units was completed and they were removed from the Superfund list.
The current action removes three operational units from the list, leaving only the contaminated groundwater plume under the base as the last unit in need of remediation.
The public has until April 12 to comment on the EPA’s proposal.
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