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EPA Orders Clean Up at Tyndall Air Force Base

Release Date: 11/21/2007
Contact Information: Laura Niles, (404) 562-8353, niles.laura@epa.gov

(Atlanta, Ga. – November 21, 2007) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking a major step toward cleaning up Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City, Fla., by compelling the Air Force to properly conduct the cleanup. EPA is issuing an Order under Section 7003(a) of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), which requires the Air Force to investigate contamination at the base and take action to clean it up.

The Order describes the steps the Air Force must take and the time frames in which to complete those steps, from initiation of an investigation to actual cleanup measures. In addition to the technical work, the Order requires that the Air Force develop a community relations plan to involve the surrounding community in the cleanup process.

Tyndall Air Force Base is located approximately one mile southeast of Panama City, in Bay County and covers 28,823 acres. The base was placed on the EPA Superfund National Priorities List in 1997. To date, more than 50 sites have been identified on the 29,000-acre base as having potential contamination, including municipal and industrial waste landfills, areas used for fire training and the explosion of ordnance, fuel storage, pesticide storage and mixing areas, and vehicle maintenance shops. The contamination includes polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), pesticides such as DDT, heavy metals, volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds, residues from exploded ordnance, and petroleum-based compounds such as jet fuel and oil. These substances have been found in the soils, sediments, surface waters, and groundwater at the base.

EPA will review future work at the base to ensure that it is conducted properly and the cleanup is protective of human health and the environment. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection will also play a vital role in the review of reports, the investigations, and proposed cleanup remedies for the base.

For more information about the Tyndall Air Force Base Superfund cleanup, visit http://www.epa.gov/region4/waste/npl/nplfln/tynafbfl.htm

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