Beatrice, NE: Former Lincoln Air Force Base, Atlas “F” Missile Site 8

Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS) Program

Published April 7, 2015

Location and Description: This site occupies 19.4 acres and is located four miles directly southwest of Beatrice in Gage County, NE. The S-8 Atlas “F” Intercontinental Ballistic Missile site was one of 12 that surrounded the former Lincoln Air Force Base and was used for the launch support for the operationally ready Atlas missile.

Site facilities consisted of: an underground, reinforced concrete launch silo; a connecting underground launch control center; an industrial waste water evaporation lagoon; two offsite water wells (1.5 miles away); and underground storage tanks for water, diesel fuel, and fuel catchment. Support structures included a cooling tower, a septic tank with subsurface sand filter, and two corrugated steel igloos.

Construction occurred in 1960 and 1961. After five short years of operation, Site 8 was decommissioned and transferred to private ownership in 1967. The property now sits vacant and is unused except for some cattle grazing. Most of the site has been significantly altered with removal of all aboveground features (with bulldozing most features to flatten the surrounding areas). Except for the concrete pad around the silo and a parking area, the fenced area of the site is grass-covered with scattered shrubs and trees. Most of the fence is still intact.

Problem and Response: Trichloroethylene (TCE) has been released into the groundwater. During 2010, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Omaha District project delivery team completed remedial investigation fieldwork to delineate groundwater contamination. Contamination was found in two water-bearing zones (pitching in opposite directions). Groundwater flow also moves in an “S” shape going off-site to the north, making delineation much more challenging. The final decision document was approved in 2013.

Activities for 2015: Contractor to complete the initial residential well sampling and start the design and implementation of the pilot study for the selected remedy chemical oxidation. Submit technical memo detailing residential well sampling results.

Proposed Activities for 2016: Complete the pilot study. Submit work plans for review/comment to Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality of the “full-scale” remediation. Implement full scale remediation system.