Dignitaries to speak on fuel-extraction from soil at former Williams Air Force Base

Third from left, Don Smallbeck, AMEC vice president, explains how a steam-enhanced extraction system works. Also answering questions were, from right to left, Steffen Griepke Nielsen, principal engineer and technical director for TerraTherm, and Emily Corkery, AMEC construction superintendent. (Photo by Richard H. Dyer, Independent Newsmedia Inc. USA)

Third from left, Don Smallbeck, AMEC vice president, explains how a steam-enhanced extraction system works. Also answering questions were, from right to left, Steffen Griepke Nielsen, principal engineer and technical director for TerraTherm, and Emily Corkery, AMEC construction superintendent. (Photo by Richard H. Dyer, Independent Newsmedia Inc. USA)

U.S. Air Force officials, state and local dignitaries have been invited to attend a 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 24, event with cake and speeches on the success of the steam-extraction of fuels at the former Williams Air Force Base, now known as Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.
“That’s going to be a bunch of people speaking about the cleanup taking place at Williams and that site in particular,” Scott Johnston, a contractor in public affairs for the Air Force Civil Engineer Center, said in a phone interview March 12.
“It’s basically just going to be some dignitaries speaking, a little cake-cutting deal,” he said.
The event open to the public will be next to the site of the removal technology, at the Sossaman Road cell phone lot, South Sossaman Road and Ulysses Avenue, at the Phoenix Mesa Gateway Airport.
High-pressure steam injected hundreds of feet into the ground is heating and pushing up fuel saturating the soil at the storage area used from 1941 to 1991 at the former air force base.
The Restoration Advisory Board tasked with providing a way for the U.S. Air Force and regulators to educate the community about the environmental cleanup work at the former WAFB will hold a meeting at 6 p.m. March 24 at the Arizona State University Polytechnic Campus Peralta Hall Room No. 130, 7171 E. Sonoran Arroyo Mall in Mesa.
The 4,043-acre Williams AFB was a flight-training school in 1941. During its 52 years as a military aviation, training, supply and maintenance complex, several areas of the former base were environmentally impacted from industrial practices that were legal and commercially accepted at the time, according to the website at www.afcec.af.mil/brac/williams.
Contaminants from military operations include organic solvents and paint strippers, petroleum, metal plating waste, hydraulic fluids, pesticides, and radiological wastes. In 1983, the U.S. Air Force implemented the Department of Defense Installation Restoration Program to identify, investigate and remediate sites at Williams AFB. In 1989, the base was added to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Priorities List as a Superfund site.
A tour was held Sept. 16 with members of the board and the public. See the story at http://arizona.newszap.com/eastvalley/135187-114/steam-to-force-fuel-from-soil-removal-part-of-decades-long-effort-to-clean-up-former-williams-afb-in.
For information on the meeting, call Linda Geissinger, Air Force Civil Engineer Center Western Region, at 916-643-1250 ext. No. 109 or send at e-mail to afrpa.west.pa@us.af.mil.

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