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Malmstrom, F.E. Warren and Minot AFBs round 1 environmental sampling results complete

  • Published
  • By Air Force Global Strike Command Public Affairs
  • Air Force Global Strike Command

The Missile Community Cancer Study’s first round of environmental sampling results for Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, F.E. Warren AFB, Wyoming, and Minot AFB, North Dakota, found no additional instances of contaminants above regulatory action levels, Air Force Global Strike Command reported today.

The study, conducted by the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine, was designed to sample for a broad range of known or suspected toxic chemicals and included testing of air, drinking water and surfaces inside the facilities, and soil samples taken on property outside the facilities. The sampling plan targeted potential carcinogens and other environmental health hazards, including nitrates, nitrites, pesticides, semi-volatile organic compounds, diquat, paraquat, dioxin, volatile organic compounds, organophosphates and polychlorinated biphenyls.

The results, which are based on samples taken in June from the 15 Missile Alert Facilities and Launch Control Centers at each base, found no contaminants above the levels established by the regulatory agencies for remediation, with the exception of two PCB surface swipes each at Malmstrom and Minot, which were first reported in August.

The command reported in August that two surface swipe samples from Malmstrom detected PCB levels above the EPA’s threshold for remediation, and 19 other samples detected PCBs that were below the levels set for remediation. The remaining 279 samples detected no PCBs. At Minot, two surface swipe samples detected PCB levels above the EPA’s threshold for remediation, 28 detected PCBs below that level, and the remaining 270 samples detected no PCBs.

Following those results, AFGSC Commander Gen. Thomas Bussiere ordered a thorough cleaning effort in all facilities where any level of PCBs was detected. The command reported in October that the first round of cleaning had successfully reduced PCB levels and validated the cleaning procedure, which will continue until all surfaces test below the EPA’s remediation level.

Radon sampling is ongoing and will be conducted quarterly to account for seasonal variations. The first round of radon results is in the final stages of review and will be reported when complete.

“The initial results from the USAFSAM survey alerted us to the presence of PCBs on some surfaces in the facilities, which we are aggressively moving to clean, but they also indicate no detectable levels of many of the other contaminants and toxic substances that concerned us,” said Bussiere.

“This is only the first round of sampling, which will continue at all our missile bases,” Bussiere continued. “I am dedicated to continuing this study until our health professionals are confident we are providing our Airmen and Guardians with clean, safe work environments.”

Summaries of the survey and its results for all three bases will be published soon at the Missile Community Cancer Study website, which will include key findings and proposed ways forward.

More information about PCBs:

More information about the Missile Community Cancer Study: