EPA Orders Air Force to Clean Up McGuire Air Force Base
(New York, N.Y.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is taking a major step toward a cleanup of the McGuire Air Force Base in New Hanover Township, New Jersey by compelling the Air Force to conduct the cleanup. EPA is ordering the Air Force to study contamination at its base and take steps to clean it up. This far-reaching order spells out the timeframe for the steps, from study to cleanup measures. Along with the technical work that needs to be done, the Air Force will be required to develop a plan of work with the surrounding community to get input into the process.
“As a responsible party, the Department of the Air Force will be required to clean up the extensive contamination at this base,” said EPA Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg. “The Department of Defense will be held accountable for rectifying contamination that has occurred at this base due to the operations over the last 60 years.”
Since 1982, when the Air Force started an environmental study of McGuire, 41 areas of the more than 3,500-acre base have been identified as having potential contamination. Contaminants ranging from PCBs, pesticides, volatile compounds, metals, petroleum and jet fuel products have been found in the soil, sediment, surface water and groundwater at the base. The areas identified on the base include landfills, fire training areas, pesticides mixing shops, fuel storage and leak areas, underground tanks and fuel lines, a PCB spill site, and wastewater treatment plant sludge disposal area.
The Air Force has already completed some investigatory work at the base. EPA will review this work and all future work by the Air Force to ensure that it is done properly. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection will also play a vital role in the review of reports and proposed cleanup remedies for the base.
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