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Airport Area Contamination Session Planned

Todd PittengerOctober 4, 2019
Contamination was left behind when the Air Force vacated the former Schilling Air Force Base, which is now the Salina Airport Industrial Area

Contamination in the area of the Salina Regional Airport, which is leftover when the military vacated the former Schilling Air Force Base, will be the topic of discussion at an event on Tuesday.

According to the City of Salina, on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. in room 203 at The Tony’s Pizza Event Center a special joint meeting will convene of the Salina Public Entities including the City of Salina Board of Commissioners, USD 305 School Board, Salina Airport Authority Board of Directors, and representatives of Kansas State University regarding the former Schilling Air Force Base environmental matter.

A brief overview of the Schilling Air Force Base groundwater contamination project will be provided by Tim Rogers, Salina Airport Authority Executive Director.

The Public Entities will convene into a joint executive session with Doug Curran, environmental counsel for the Salina Public Entities, to discuss with the Salina Public Entities the subject of scheduled mediation with representatives of the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers associated with pending litigation in U.S. District Court based upon the need for
consultation with an attorney for the public bodies which would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship.

At issue is contamination, things like solvents that have seeped into the ground, left behind when the Air Force vacated the base. The area is now the Salina Regional Airport. The main concern is two large underground plumes of contamination, one in the north part of the Airport Industrial Area, and another on the south end. A large plume of the solvent trichloroethylene, or TCE, is in the groundwater and soil. TCE at the time was used as an industrial solvent and has since been classified as a human carcinogen.

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