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FUDS JAN 4 2018

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Published on Jan 5, 2018

In this video, we’ll share a remarkable story about how a community took control of a cleanup of a FUDS in their backyard.
Tim Rogers, Executive Director, Salina Airport Authority has been spent over 30 years at the airport. A good part of his tenure at the airport has involved environmental remediation issues, that they are getting close to finalizing and getting resolved.
Jason Gage, City Manager, Salina, Kansas. has been in the position for nearly 12 years.
The source of the contamination goes back to the Air Force base that closed in the early 1960s and the use of solvents that they applied and at the time probably didn't really realized they were a problem. And as time fast forwarded, we did realize those solvents were a problem. Because it was a formerly used defense site (FUDS) we were working with the US Army Corps of Engineers who was responsible to clean up the problem.
The only way that the Salina Public Entities could see that we could put into effect a comprehensive investigation and cleanup was to sue the United States of America and the Department of Defense...in order to receive the funding necessary in order to start and complete without the obstacle without relying on annual appropriations by congress to any federal agency.
Why did you pick Dragun Corporation? There was a time when we came to a conclusion that we needed what I considered higher level scientific support for this. We looked at various companies that provided those type of consulting services and Dragun really rose to the top.
The site is the former Schilling Air Force Base, the government gave the base to the community. When Dragun got involved we were asked to peer review reports that were generated by the US Army Corps of Engineers through this FUDS program. They had been at the site for approximately 10 years investigating and they had come to our (now) clients, the City of Salina, the Salina Airport Authority, Kansas State University, and Salina Public Schools, and said here's the situation: You have trichloroethylene in the groundwater, it's traveling towards your water supply...Our clients had reservations as to whether this was an accurate reporting of what was going on. It probably wasn't 125 years before it was going to reach the water supply, it was something more in the 20 year range. This certainly got this community's attention.
People were basically just gathering data and not spending a lot of effort on putting it all together. There was an amazing amount of TCE use. They basically sprayed TCE with power washers on the bombers that came back everyday. They let that TCE flow across the concrete and into the ground. Nobody knew it was going to create a problem 50 years down the road. Right now we know after working on this site for three years that there are 11 plumes of TCE and other chemicals. Some the plumes are miles long and deep and they are in rock - this was not known previously. There were a lot of things that were unknown. You couldn't fairly evaluate the cost of clean up until we knew all this information. We had to come up with the magnitude of the problem, the ariel extent, the vertical extent, how quickly the chemicals were moving, distribution of chemicals and so on. We reviewed thousands of pages of documents from previous studies and tried to come up with a comprehensive model. When we get involved with projects that are environmental issues, we try to put our arms around the project. When we got involved, there really wasn't a good understanding of a number of aspects. We are talking about a site that had an amazing amount of chemical contamination. We had to get this done in about three years to meet our deadline. We used a lot of innovative techniques that helped us do real time analysis of the information. Our geologists in the field all used iPads to take notes and they could send those notes to us real time. We could also innovate when as the data came in.
Client Testimonial: "What I have learned during this process, is that partnering with an excellent environmental consulting firm, is essential. That firm, such as Dragun, enables, in our case, the community and the Salina Public Entities to be as best prepared as we possibly can. We know we've got the best to help us explain the extent of contamination, risk involved and how it will be cleaned up and managed going forward. What I have learned is, hire the best, work with the best, and you will get the best results.

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