Firth, NE: Former Lincoln Air Force Base, Atlas “F” Missile Site 7

Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS) Program

Published April 7, 2015

Location and Description: The former Lincoln Air Force Base, Atlas Missile Site 7 is located approximately three miles southwest of Firth, Nebraska in Gage County. It was one of 12 Lincoln Air Force Base missile sites that were used for the maintenance, storage, and potential launch of Atlas “F” intercontinental ballistic missiles. Previous investigations conducted at the site showed trichloroethene (TCE), a chlorinated solvent (and its associated breakdown products), present in the soil and groundwater. The TCE is presumably a result of construction activities, site operations, and/or site decommissioning.

Problem and Response: Mitigation of risk is to prevent landowners from ingestion, inhalation, and skin contact with groundwater having TCE in excess of the regulatory limit. The response includes restoration of the groundwater. A performance-based contract was awarded in July 2011 and associated work includes: a remedial design; pilot study; performance monitoring; and, proposed plan and decision document.

Since March 9, 2012 right of entry has been refused by all landowners, except the silo area parcel property landowner. Thus, groundwater remediation efforts have continued for the silo property, and have been halted for all other properties. For the single landowner with an impacted drinking water well, a granular activated carbon system was installed to provide clean drinking water, and responsibility for operation and maintenance has been taken over by the landowner. An enhanced bioremediation groundwater pilot study has been initiated on the silo property and has been performing well. It is anticipated that this technology will be implemented as the remedy in place and will achieve remediation of the groundwater below the silo property within seven years.

Activities for 2015: A proposed plan and decision document will be completed along with continued operation and performance monitoring of the pilot study for the silo property.

Proposed Activities for 2016: Implementation of the remedy in place for the silo property, to include continued operation and performance monitoring for enhanced bioremediation of the groundwater.

Issues and Other Information: Remedial efforts have been halted for all parcel landowners with the exception of the silo area parcel, as property access have not been granted. USACE has worked with NDEQ and EPA Region 7 to gain landowner access through awareness of potentially responsible party liabilities to no avail. The USACE continues to work with regulators and the silo property landowner to keep them informed and involved in the remediation process.