GREAT FALLS, Mont. --
Eighteen new groundwater monitoring water wells were recently
installed at the 120th Airlift Wing. These wells were installed by the Air National Guard as part of on-going groundwater monitoring being conducted at the facility.
Historic accidental releases of aviation fuel and other vehicle maintenance activities resulted in impacts to site groundwater initially identified in the late 1980s. Base environmental response activities are being conducted by the ANG in coordination with the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (MTDEQ) and the Great Falls International Airport.
To date, the ANG has undertaken successful remediation activities to help remove some of the source of contamination identified at the installation and continues to evaluate options to enhance the current soil and groundwater treatment remedies.
The new monitoring wells will aid in the collection of additional subsurface data and will provide additional information to enable continued environmental response and restoration activities being undertaken by the ANG. The new monitoring wells will supplement the existing monitoring well network originally installed to evaluate five currently active Installation Restoration Program (IRP) sites at the Montana Air National Guard base.
The goal of the program is to improve the delineation of installation groundwater contamination and determine if there is a pathway for contaminants that might adversely affect the environment or health of the local population, said Jerry DeVose, the Montana state environmental manager for the 120th AW.
“The investigation has been ongoing since it began around 1988,” DeVose said. “The complex site geology makes delineation and remediation more difficult. We’ll continue monitoring and evaluating the natural attenuation that is occurring now.”
The Air Force and ANG environmental restoration programs support the military mission by identifying, investigating, and cleaning up contamination. Environmental programs also seek to prevent any new contamination from entering the environment, DeVose said.
“We’re taking steps to ensure future use of the property is not impacted by our mission activities,” DeVose said. “Water is a limited resource and we want to do what’s right.”