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April 19, 2005

Dryden Flight Research Center
P.O. Box 273
Edwards, California 93523
Phone 661/276-3449
FAX 661/276-3566

Alan Brown
NASA Dryden Flight Research Center
Phone: 661/276-2665

Public Meeting On NASA Dryden TCE Cleanup Plan Scheduled

A proposed plan to clean up potentially hazardous chemical contamination at three groundwater sites at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base will be outlined a public meeting in California City April 27.

During the session, scheduled for 6 p.m. at California City's City Hall, 21000 Hacienda Blvd., Air Force and NASA environmental officials will detail plans to clean up a plume of trichloroethene (TCE) located in groundwater beneath NASA Dryden's aircraft ramp areas along the western shore of Rogers Dry Lake. The proposed cleanup plan was prepared by the Edwards Air Force Base Environmental Management Office in cooperation with NASA Dryden, the U.S. and California Environmental Protection Agencies (EPAs), and the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board.

The plume is believed to have been created when TCE, a solvent formerly used in aircraft and ground equipment cleaning operations, was released to the soil and migrated to the groundwater beneath. Environmental officials believe the relatively low concentrations of TCE, a probable carcinogen, represent no hazard to Dryden employees or visitors due to the chemical plume being in groundwater that is beneath asphalt pavement and concrete ramp areas and the groundwater is not a current source of drinking water. However, the levels of contamination are above that allowed by federal and state environmental regulations for groundwater that could be a future drinking water source.

The area covered by the cleanup plan originally included 19 locations at Dryden where historical records and archival research had shown that hazardous chemicals had been used or stored. Subsequent investigation determined that eight of those locations, three involving groundwater and five soil, had high enough levels of contamination to warrant further investigation. The proposed plan as approved by the federal and state EPAs describes the sites, human health risk assessment, the five cleanup options considered by the Air Force and NASA for the three groundwater sites, and outlines the reasons for no further action to be taken at the five soil sites.

The proposed plan is available for public review through June 1. It can be accessed on-line at: http://www.edwards.af.mil/penvmng/Documents/reviewdocs.htm.

Printed copies are also available for review at:

  • Kern County Public Library, Wanda Kirk Branch, 3611 Rosamond Blvd., Rosamond;
  • Los Angeles County Public Library, 601 W. Lancaster Blvd., Lancaster;
  • Col. Vernon P. Saxon, Jr. Aerospace Museum, 26962 20 Mule Team Rd., Boron;
  • Air Force Flight Test Center Library, 5 W. Yeager Blvd., Bldg. 2665, Edwards Air Force Base;
  • Edwards AFB Environmental Management Office, 5 E. Popson Ave., Building 2650A, Edwards AFB, by appointment only.

Information on how to submit written comments is included in the plan. Persons desiring additional information or wishing to submit comments via e-mail may contact Gary Hatch, 95th Air Base Wing Environmental Public Affairs at (661) 277-1454, Gary.Hatch@edwards.af.mil.


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