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Air Force awards contract to complete environmental work at former Chanute Air Force Base

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas -- The Air Force Real Property Agency is pleased to announce the Air Force Center for Engineering and the Environment has awarded a contract to complete the remaining environmental cleanup work at the former Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul, Illinois.

The performance-based, Firm Fixed Price contract was awarded to Shaw Environmental, Inc. of Knoxville, Tennessee in the amount of $38,731,023, with a Period of Performance ending Sept. 2016.

The Air Force works closely with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. EPA to remediate environmental contamination prior to property transfer. Since the base's closure in 1993, the Air Force Real Property Agency prepares former Chanute property for transfer -- identifying environmental sites, determining nature and extent of contamination, and conducting clean-up actions.

A total of 81 environmental sites have been identified at the former base -- 29 of which have been closed, with five scheduled for closure by March 2009. Current projections indicate 39 of the 47 remaining sites require environmental cleanup, the largest of which include a former landfill, a firefighting training area, a skeet range, several coal storage areas, and multiple contaminated soil and groundwater sites. Much of the remaining work is expected to include "dig-and-haul" projects where contaminated soil is excavated, disposed in an approved off-site landfill, then backfilled with clean soil.

Although remedy selections have not yet been made, contaminated groundwater could be treated using various methods including injections to break down contaminants by biological or chemical degradation, and phytoremediation which uses plants to clean up contaminated groundwater. Monitoring of the groundwater will also be conducted to ensure the remediation is effective and contamination is not spreading.

"By the end of this contract's eight year POP, the Air Force hopes to achieve its goal of closing many of the remaining sites at Chanute using some very innovative and aggressive environmental remediation techniques," said Paul Carroll, Air Force BRAC Environmental Coordinator for the former Chanute AFB. "Of course we expect some sites, such as the landfills, to require monitoring beyond the POP, as well as land use controls to protect against exposure. The Air Force is committed to protecting human health and the environment at the former Chanute AFB."

If you would like more information on the environmental cleanup program at the former Chanute AFB, please call 866-725-7616 or e-mail afrpa.pa@lackland.af.mil