The Air Force Civil Engineer Center at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D, will join efforts with the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology in Rapid City on the service’s environmental stewardship goals, Air Force Times reported Monday.
Experts in ecology, hydrology, environmental engineering and other disciplines will provide training and assistance to the Air Force to clean up contaminated sites, reduce or prevent future pollution, and comply with environmental rules and law at its installations.
Numerous Air Force bases, including Ellsworth, have recently been recognized as having measurable contamination from perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFAS) chemicals in the firefighting foam used to extinguish aircraft fires.
The EPA has also acknowledged that the chemicals have links to cancers and other health problems.
The School of Mines President Jim Rankin says the partnership will advance top-tier science, engineering research and education while supporting DOD efforts on environmental challenges.
Ellsworth has been identified as a site where the presence of environmental contamination has placed it on the EPA’s Superfund list.
Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class John Ennis