Shaw makes community aware of environmental cleanup actions


An advisory board that serves as a liaison between the community and Shaw Air Force Base regarding environmental remediation actions held its annual meeting last week.

The 20th Fighter Wing's Restoration Advisory Board meeting on Feb. 5 at the New Beginning Banquet Facility in Sumter served as a forum for neighbors and local governments to "openly discuss the environmental cleanup actions of Shaw AFB and any recent changes to the base's environmental restoration program," according to the 20th FW Public Affairs Office.

"Shaw AFB continues to make strides in improving its environmental programs and remains dedicated to being as proactive as possible in its handling of all environmental-related initiatives," said Jane Allen, 20th Mission Support Group director for installations. "It is important to us that we keep our community partners aware of the progress we're making on base and that we are transparent about future projects."

The recently submitted January 2019 Resource Conservation and Recovery Act permit renewal application lists Shaw AFB as having 124 cleanup sites. To date, 99 of those sites have been closed in accordance with RCRA permit requirements.

Of the 25 remaining active cleanup sites, three impact off-base locations, according to the public affairs office, and "continue to have no impact on the drinking water on or surrounding Shaw AFB."

Nearly $110 million has been spent on the environmental restoration program, and nearly 1,400 treatment and monitoring wells have been installed on or around Shaw AFB. Since 1997, more than 3.05 billion gallons of water have been treated, removing more than 3,500 pounds of contaminants.

In late fiscal year 2017, an additional $3.5 million contract was awarded to Shaw to assist in further site closeout. A second contract for $2.54 million intended for additional water sampling was awarded in fiscal 2018.

"Protecting human health is our priority," Allen said, "and we continue to do everything in our power to ensure mission activities do not impact the environment."