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Luke Air Force Base Contamination

Luke Air Force Base Glendale AZ

by Civilian Exposure

The primary mission of the 4,198-acre Luke Air Force Base (LAFB) site was to provide advanced flight training to fighter pilots. Discharges and waste disposal practices at LAFB resulted in soil and possible groundwater contamination. Thirty-two areas of the base were subject to further investigation: two fire training areas; a waste oil and fuels underground storage tank area; three waste oil disposal trench areas; three surface drainage canals receiving oily wastes; a sewage treatment plant effluent canal; the site of an abandoned Defense Reutilization and Marking Office; thirteen land disposal sites (one of which contains a radiological disposal area); an old incinerator site; a former outside transformer storage site; two leaking underground storage tank sites; an abandoned surface impoundment; an ammunition storage area; a skeet range; and the base production wells. Contaminants used on site include organic solvents and paint strippers, waste oil spills, petroleum spills, metal plating wastes, hydraulic fluids, and radiological wastes. There are approximately 4,900 military personnel and dependents living on base. Civilian and other military personnel who commute to the base daily from off-base areas bring the total daily base population to approximately 8,000. The cities of Goodyear, Youngtown, and Phoenix depend on the water from the Phoenix groundwater basin that underlies the site for their drinking water supplies.

Soil was contaminated with waste oils and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) resulting from the diverse processes that have taken place at the site. Groundwater was potentially contaminated with waste oils and VOCs. Potential human health hazards include accidental ingestion or direct contact with contaminated materials.

This site was addressed in three stages: initial actions and two long-term remedial phases focusing on cleanup of the entire site and soil contamination.

The Air Force has completed all activities necessary to achieve site cleanup completion at Luke AFB. The Luke AFB conducted a final potential sources of contamination inspection in August 1997. Also, EPA and ADEQ conducted a final site inspection in April 2000 and determined that the Air Force has constructed the remedy in accordance with the requirements in the RODs for the entire site, and the Remedial Action Work Plans. EPA concurred on the The Final Close Out Report for Luke AFB on April 26, 2001. The Luke AFB First Five-Year Review was completed and EPA concurred on the review on January 30, 2002. The Second Five-Year Review was completed and EPA concurred on the review on September 19, 2007. The Third Five-Year Review was completed and EPA concurred on the review on September 25, 2012. The next Five-Year Review is required by June 2017. The Luke AFB was officially deleted from the NPL list on April 22, 2002. However, there are institutional controls which serve to maintain the current site conditions and to control the risks to human health by prohibiting residential development. An Institutional Control Plan dated December 15, 2001 was developed by the Air Force and EPA concurred on the plan on January 8, 2001.

NPL Site Completion

Cleanup goals specified in Records of Decision have been met, institutional controls are in place, and all required reports and records are completed. Only operations and maintenance activities, if any, remain. The site is protective of human health and the environment.

The Luke Air Force Base site participated in the Installation Restoration Program, a specially funded program established by the Department of Defense (DOD) in 1978 to identify, investigate, and control the migration of hazardous contaminants at military and other DOD facilities. A Federal Facilities Agreement to conduct the site cleanup plan was signed in September 1990.

The Third Five-Year Review Report, completed on September 25, 2012, concluded that all remedies are functioning as designed, continue to be protective of human health and the environment, and control exposure pathways that could result in unacceptable risks.

*Note – We’ve posted, verbatim, the information from the EPA on Luke AFB on this page rather than simply sharing a link.  This is to maintain an ongoing record of the information to-date as of October 2015, in the event it is edited or removed from their site in the future.

For detailed information on Luke Air Force Base, visit this EPA link: Luke Air Force Base – EPA Superfund Site

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