• Scope of Investigation into Groundwater Contamination Expands

    Scope of Investigation into Groundwater Contamination Expands0

    The Defense Department’s initial investigation into 664 sites across the nation that potentially have elevated levels of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) in their drinking water has been expanded to at least 2,000 sites, most of them on Air Force bases, the New York Times reported Monday. The groundwater contamination is believed to have been caused by decades of use of firefighting foam at military installations. The Air Force has spent $137 million to assess the scope of the problem in addition to money it is paying to treat water systems and provide alternate sources of drinking water in affected communities. The ultimate cost of the cleanup will “likely be quite large,” according to one official …

  • Homes near Ft. Detrick Could Gain Connection to City Water

    Homes near Ft. Detrick Could Gain Connection to City Water0

    After 10 years of relying on bottled water deliveries from the Army because local wells had been contaminated by landfills at Fort Detrick, Md., residents of five homes may finally secure a connection to the municipal water supply. If the city grants the installation’s request, the Army would cover the $62,000 cost to connect the five homes to Frederick’s water, reported the Frederick News-Post. The five homes use well water, but stopped using it for cooking and drinking after the Army Corps of Engineers in 2005 discovered perchloroethylene and trichloroethylene in three residential wells. The homes are adjacent to a 399-acre parcel near Fort Detrick containing several capped landfills. The landfills contain sludge from its former decontamination plants, ashes from its incinerators, potentially radioactive sludge from a sewage disposal plant, drums of the industrial solvent trichloroethylene, chemical materials, biological materials and herbicides, according to the story. The corps has sampled groundwater around the post for years to monitor contaminants seeping through the bottom of the capped landfills. The bottled water shipments to the five homes have cost the Army about $2,700 per year.

  • Air Force Turns on First Well Treating Fuel Spill outside of Kirtland AFB0

    Albuquerque officials are hopeful that the Air Force’s latest effort to address an underground fuel leak at Kirtland Air Force Base that could be as large as 24 million gallons will protect the city’s drinking water supply. In June, workers turned on the first of a series of wells that will pump the fuel and contaminated water out of the ground. The Air Force plans to build two more wells this fall and, depending on how the cleanup progresses, workers could construct up to five wells next year, reported Air Force Times. “There was a period of time during which we were very concerned about the apparent lack of progress and lack of clarity with respect to cleanup plans,” said David Morris, a spokesman for the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority. “So we’ve been very encouraged by recent developments, which seem to point to a renewed commitment on the part of the Air Force to address this problem …