Location and Description: The former Pine
Ridge Gunnery Range encompasses 341,725 acres
in southwestern South Dakota. The range was
acquired between 1942 and 1965 for use as an
aerial gunnery range in support of Rapid City Air
Base, now known as Ellsworth Air Force Base.
Ordnance used included sand-filled practice
bombs; 2.75-inch rockets; 20-mm, 75-mm, and 50
caliber ammunition; 3.5-inch anti-tank rockets; 105-
mm and 8-inch howitzer artillery projectiles; and 100-
and 250-pound high explosive general purpose
bombs. The land was disposed of by the
Department of Defense between 1963 and 1977.
Problem and Response: Original
documentation recommended Hazardous Toxic Waste (HTW) and Ordnance and Explosives (OE)
projects. The HTW project was recommended to investigate possible contamination resulting from OE
burial pits. The pits were excavated and sampled in 2004, and no contamination was found. Further sampling within a target area occurred in 2003, and no contamination was
found. An OE project was recommended to investigate, identify, and remediate
ordnance and explosives from the property. Seven action memorandums were signed to remove OE
throughout various target areas on the range.
Activities for 2015: The remedial investigation/feasibility study has been finalized for three of four
realigned OE projects. A preliminary assessment is being conducted to delineate the range so a more
focused strategy for the remediation can be formulated and remediated areas can be closed using the
appropriate Comprehensive, Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act documents of the proposed plan and decision document.
Proposed Activties for 2016: Old contracts will be closed out as complete. Additionally, another task order may be issued to complete proposed plans and
decision documents for areas which have been remediated to the best capability of USACE using current
technology and processes.
Issues and other information: Communication and coordination with the Oglala Sioux Tribe has been
repaired through constant communication and stakeholder management. USACE has gained trust through public participation at Oglala Sioux outreach events and the Lakota Invitational
Tournament and Pow Wow held in December.
Communication with the tribal leaders is open and
respectful. An area used by the National Guard of South Dakota is known to contain Munitions Possibly
Presenting an Explosive Hazard and has had Explosive Ordnance Disposal response from
Ellsworth AFB, however, funding to remediate this area is not available from FUDS nor through the