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Eielson Chemicals Dumped Improperly in Salcha

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State and federal agencies are investigating chemical dumping at two Salcha area sites. Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation on-scene coordinator Sarah Moore says large volumes of liquid fire-fighting foam residue were

improperly disposed of onto the ground at two gravel pits off the Richardson Highway, operated by an Eielson Air Force Base sub-contractor.

Dumping Tip:  Q:”…at these properties.” :33

Moore notes that the foam waste does not contain PFAS, but does present potential human and environmental health risks.

Dumping Threats: Q:”…in the area.”  :13     

Moore says both dump sites are adjacent to residential areas, one near Harding Lake. She says the DEC plans to survey the areas for potential contamination of drinking water wells, and then formulate a clean-up plan.

The Air Force and US Army Corps of Engineers are also looking into the incident, and Corps spokesperson John Budnik says it’s believed the foam originated from testing of fire suppression systems at Eielson.

Dumping Volume: Q:”…about 12 thousand gallons.” :19

Budnik says Rolling Stone was the subcontractor responsible for handling the foam waste and submitted a plan to properly do so, and it remains unclear who actually dumped the foam onto the ground. 

Dumping Investigation: Q:”..the ongoing investigation.” :02

Rolling Stone is a Salcha based contractor. A person who answered the company’s phone last night, declined to give his name, and would not say whether the foam was intentionally dumped, deferring any comment until after testing determines whether it presents a threat.

Dan has been in public radio news in Alaska since 1993. He’s worked as a reporter, newscaster and talk show host at stations in McGrath, Valdez and Fairbanks. Dan’s experience includes coverage of a wide range of topics, from wolf control to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and dog mushing.