Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, SD: Former Pine Ridge Gunnery Range,

Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS) Program

Published April 15, 2015
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.

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.

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 National Guard.


Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, SD: Former Pine Ridge Gunnery Range,

Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS) Program

Published April 15, 2015
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.

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.

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 National Guard.