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Fact Sheet

August 2013

Removal Action, O’Neill Tank Superfund Site, Great Bend, Barton County, Kansas


Beginning in September 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 will conduct a removal of contaminated soil at the O’Neill Tank Superfund Site at 511 C Street in Great Bend, Barton County, Kansas. The removal, which is expected to be complete by October 2013, is focused on addressing the release of the hazardous substance radium-226 into the environment at the 9.6-acre site.

Radium-226 is a naturally occurring radioactive material which can become concentrated due to human activities. Radium-contaminated soils and other material will be removed from the O’Neill Tank Site and replaced with clean soil. The contamination will be shipped to an approved off-site facility for disposal.


From 1942 until 1947, the site was part of the former Great Bend Army Airfield. In 1947, the site became part of the Great Bend Municipal Airport and Industrial Park and has been used for a variety of commercial purposes since then. 


The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) detected radium contamination at the site during a 2008 investigation. Subsequent investigations by KDHE and EPA have confirmed the presence of the contamination and defined its extent.

It is believed that the contamination resulted from the storage of oil field pipe at the site, as residues that build up in oil field pipe often contain radium-226.

The levels of radium-226 detected at the site exceed EPA’s and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s health-based screening levels, and are considered to pose a risk to persons who currently work at or near the site. Without the removal action, those risks would continue, and future uses of the property could result in additional unacceptable exposures.


EPA’s removal action will address potential threats to human health and the environment that are posed by the contaminated soil and other materials at the site.

The removal will involve the following steps:

Workers will be dressed in protective clothing, and there will be no disruption to normal traffic flow.


EPA will establish an Administrative Record for the O’Neill Tank Site. Beginning in early October 2013, the Administrative Record will be available for public review during normal business hours at the following locations:

Great Bend Public Library
1409 Williams St.
Great Bend, Kansas 67530

EPA Region 7
Records Center
11201 Renner Boulevard
Lenexa, Kansas 66219

If you have questions, or need additional information, please contact:

Belinda Young
Community Involvement Coordinator
U.S. EPA Region 7
11201 Renner Boulevard
Lenexa, Kansas 66219
Phone: 913-551-7463
Toll-free: 1-800-223-0425


Katy Miley
On-Scene Coordinator
U.S. EPA Region 7
11201 Renner Boulevard
Lenexa, KS 66219
Phone: 913-551-7916
Toll-free: 1-800-223-0425

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