Denver, CO: Former Lowry Air Force Base Missile Site 1, Complex 1B

Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS) Program

Published April 15, 2015
Martin SM-68 "Titan I" Missile

Martin SM-68 "Titan I" Missile

Location and Description: The former Lowry Air Force Base Missile Site 1, Complex 1B is located 24 miles southeast of Denver, Colorado. Prior to construction of the Titan I Missile Complex, the property was part of the Lowry Bombing and Gunnery Range. The U.S. Navy and Colorado National Guard used the range from 1946 until 1958. Construction of the missile complex began in September 1958 and was completed in June 1961. In approximately 1965, the complex became inactive. The Board of Land Commissioners, Denver, Colorado, currently owns the property. The land is leased for grazing livestock. The former missile complex included: three launch stations located nearby in separate reinforced-concrete structures, each consisting of an underground missile silo, a supporting equipment terminal, a propellant terminal and a propellant system; one underground guidance center; underground utility and service facilities, including an underground powerhouse; interconnecting underground tunnels; two sewage stabilization cells; a chemical waste clarifier; and five concrete sealed chambers. The powerhouse contained four diesel generators and associated equipment for production of the electrical power required by the facility. 

Problems and Response: Chemicals known to have been used at the Titan Missile Complex include polychlorinated biphenyls, ethylene glycol, sodium hydroxide, pesticides, RP-1 missile fuel, lubricant oil, diesel fuel, liquid oxygen, and liquid nitrogen. Assortments of cleaning solvents used for missile and launch maintenance were also inferred to have been used at the site.

Several site investigations have been conducted to date to characterize contamination that may have resulted from historic site operations. Investigation programs have included sampling and analysis of surface and subsurface soil, groundwater, sumps, and air. Based on results of site investigations and risk evaluations conducted at the site, groundwater, surface soil and subsurface soil have been identified as potential environmental media of concern at Complex 1B. Groundwater is the main contaminated medium relevant to Complex 1B. 

Tetrachloroethene (PCE) and trichloroethene (TCE) in groundwater are the only identified contaminants of concern. Total and dissolved metals were detected in groundwater at the monitoring wells. The soil contamination identified during the remedial investigation has been removed and no additional work needs to be done related to soil. The final feasibility study report was submitted to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment in December 2007 and was approved on February 26, 2008. 

A firm fixed-price performance-based contract, remedy in place was awarded on March 31, 2010. A pre-design investigation report validated the remedy for the site to treat the highest concentrations of remaining dissolved-phase PCE and TCE in groundwater. The decision document was completed in January 2014 and signed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Omaha District Commander on February 3, 2014. 

Activities for 2015: Complete remedy in place and award the response complete phase. 

Proposed Activities for 2016: Perform contamination mass removal by using the remedial action of in-site chemical oxidation.