Sep 14, 2011

Government Agencies Agree to Clean Up Groundwater at Air Force Plant 44

US Air Force, EPA, Ariz. Department of Environmental Quality to work together to clean areas impacted by plant

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it has signed an agreement with the U.S. Air Force and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) to clean up Air Force-owned property at Air Force Plant 44, part of the Tucson International Airport Area Superfund Site in Tucson, Ariz.

Under the terms of the federal facility agreement, the Air Force will work with the EPA and ADEQ to clean up areas impacted by Air Force Plant 44, south of Los Reales Road. Groundwater at the site is currently contaminated with volatile organic compounds and other chemicals.

“EPA, Arizona and Air Force are committed to achieving cleanup of Air Force Plant 44,” said EPA Director of the Superfund Division in the Pacific Southwest Region Jane Diamond. “This agreement provides a new level of confidence that the work by the military will meet all EPA and state environmental requirements for completion.”

Investigations since the early 1980s have shown contamination in soils and groundwater at and near the Air Force Plant 44. Ten areas were identified as potentially contaminated, including land disposal areas that are no longer in use: a former wastewater treatment facility and two fire training areas. Groundwater contaminants include volatile organic compounds, such as TCE, and 1,4-dioxane. The Air Force has taken numerous actions to clean up contamination in these areas, and no immediate health threats currently exist at the site.

“This agreement is an important milestone for the TIAA site,” said ADEQ Director Henry Darwin. “It lays a solid foundation for continued cooperation among ADEQ, EPA and the Air Force to assure the cleanup of contaminated soil and groundwater at the site.”