After several years of discussion and negotiation, cleanup appears to finally be coming to the area surrounding the former Schilling Air Force Base in Salina.
The United States has agreed in settlement to give Salina Public Entities a one-time, $65.9 million payment.
On Wednesday, The Salina Public Entities, made up of the City of Salina, Salina Airport Authority, USD 305 Salina and Kansas State University, approved a Consent Decree with the United States of America. The Consent Decree resolves civil claims by the Salina Public Entities against the United States in U.S. District Court. The settlement provides for the fund of the Remedial Design and Remedial Action phases of the comprehensive environmental cleanup of the former Schilling Air Force Base in accordance with the provisions of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA.)
During settlement negotiations the Salina Public Entities agreed to perform the Remedial Design and Remedial Action work necessary to complete the environmental cleanup, while the United State agreed to pay a cash settlement of $65.9 million to settle claims made by the Salina Public Entities against the United States related to the former Schilling Air Force Base site. The work to be performed by the Salina Public Entities will result in a CERCLA compliant cleanup of the property. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment will provide regulatory oversight for the Remedial Design and Action work.
It is anticipated that the Dragun Corporation will be the environmental consulting and engineering firm that will be hired by Salina Public Entities. Dragun Corporation was selected in 2005 as the SPE’s environmental consulting and engineering firm for the former Schilling Air Force Base.
After approval by the Salina Public Entities, the Consent Decree will be submitted to the US Department of Justice for final approval and signature. Following approval from the DOG, the Consent Decree will be submitted to the US District Court for the District of Kan., for the Court’s final approval and Entry of Final Judgement. Following the Entry of Final Judgement, the US will wire transfer $65.9 million in the “Former SAFB Environmental Project Fund” at the City of Salina. Receipt of the federal funds will signal the start of Remedial Design and Action work.
The project will continue to have its own KDHE website for the benefit of interested citizens and area residents. The CERCLA process and KDHE oversight includes regular public meetings and opportunities for public comment.