Plattsburgh Air Force Base
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Larisa W. Romanowski (518) 407-0400
EPA added the Plattsburgh Air Force Base site in Plattsburgh, New York to the National Priorities List of Superfund sites on November 21, 1989 because hazardous chemicals were found in the soil and groundwater. The 3,440 acre site located in Clinton County was an air force base which served as a tactical wing, followed by an air refueling wing, from 1955 to 1991. During this time, hazardous wastes were created from the discharge of munitions, fire fighting exercises, landfill operations, and aircraft testing, operation, and maintenance. The site is in an area comprised of industrial, commercial and private residents. The site is bordered by The Saranac River on the northern side, the Salmon River on the southern side and Lake Champlain on the eastern side. Approximately 2,000 people obtain drinking water from private wells located within three miles of the base.
Activities at the Fire Training Area have contaminated groundwater that caused a ground water plume consisting fuel-related compounds and potentially harmful odorless solutions. This plume extends thousands of feet and comes within 2000 feet of Lake Champlain. Four landfills were used during different periods for disposal of household wastes and construction debris which could have contained hazardous wastes. Water flowing from these landfills was found to be contaminated with pesticides and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are potentially harmful contaminants that easily evaporate into the air. Soils near a storage area were found to be contaminated with pesticides as a result of leaking drums. A separate failed underground storage tank resulted in soil and groundwater contamination with potentially harmful, odorless solutions. The groundwater at the base is not used as a drinking water supply.
Several of the removal actions and remedial and site investigations are nearing completion. Approximately 600 cubic yards of pesticide-contaminated soil was removed from the storage and maintenance area. A pesticide tank and the surrounding soil was removed and disposed of, and a lead-lined tank was also removed. On the old Arms Range, soil was excavated and screened for bullets. In the Heavy Equipment Maintenance Facility, soil contaminated with fuel-related compounds and solvents was excavated to a depth of about 4 feet. Another 500 cubic yards of soils contaminated with fuel-related compounds was removed from the Munitions Maintenance Facility. To treat the groundwater contaminant plume, the Air Force conducted an onsite treatability study involving soil vapor extraction and groundwater extraction. Under current conditions at this site, potential or actual human exposures are under control.