Expect to see a lot of above ground activity in the coming years – as special crews work to eliminate the underground toxic plumes in the Salina Airport Industrial Area.
That’s Tim Rogers, Salina Airport Authority Executive Director who says plans to mitigate and remove up to 11 toxic plumes can begin in earnest after a recent victory for Salina Public Entities.
Over two decades of investigation and negations has led to a nearly $68 million pay out from the United States Government to clean up the contamination left behind by the U.S. Air Force. A victory Rogers says comes only with a long view and solidarity.
Salina Public Entities expects the one time, lump sum payment from the government sometime in late summer.
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.
The decades old issue has been contamination, things like solvents that have seeped into the ground, left behind when the Air Force vacated the base in 1965. The area is now the Salina Regional Airport. The main concern are 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.