The Air Force has cleaned up its act considerably. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering removing 2,900 or 3,552 acres at the former Griffis Air Force Base, NY, from its list of potentially hazardous sites.
The Air Force has put over 20 years and $138 million into clean-up costs, remediating many of the potentially hazardous waste sites at the former Strategic Air Command (SAC) base, which means it may finally get taken off the EPA's National Priorities List. The list of hazardous waste sites are those eligible for remediation funding under the EPA's Superfund program, established in 1980. The Air Force has 30 sites on the list, including Griffis! (That sounds like a lot until you realize the list is 1,255 sites long.)
Griffis is only the second Air Force site to be "partially de-listed," as the service is calling it. It's also the largest acreage delisting since 4,198 acres at Luke AFB in Ariz were removed from the list in 2002.
There are 700 acres still left to clean up, and nearby Rome, NY will be happy to use the land once it's safe. Already, Rome has built a $45 million high school on a portion of the base, as well as put in a hotel, an industrial park and about 70 other businesses.