2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 14 Mar 2003 18:59:13 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Cornhusker plant testing water
Cornhusker plant testing water
Tests are looking for presence of explosive residue in groundwater
Last modified at 11:44 p.m. on Tuesday, March 11, 2003
By Mike Bockoven

For the members of HydroGeoLogic Inc., a group testing wells around the
Grand Island area, a unique problem has presented itself.

"If there's no water, you can't really test it," said Robert Overfelt,
project manager for the company. "Some of the shallow wells are dry, so
we won't sample them, obviously."

Out of the 142 wells the group will sample during the annual groundwater
testing for the Cornhusker Army Ammunitions Plant near Grand Island,
eight have no water in them or so little that testing isn't possible.
The group, which began sampling last week, will take three weeks to
finish its work and roughly three weeks to get the results back on the
water in the wells.

One of the main concerns is RDX, an explosive residue that has been
detected in groundwater near CAAP since the mid-1980s. The chemical was
used when the plant was in production from 1942 to 1973.

RDX is present along a plume of groundwater stretching north and east
from the plant, with a few spots along the way. As with many previous
years, Overfelt said, he and his crew expect to find no sharp increase
or decrease in the amount of RDX along the plume, although the amounts
have decreased over time.

"The plume over the years has reduced somewhat," he said. "In general,
the trends show us there have been reductions. You may not see that from
year to year, but when you look over the long term, you can see it."

The drought that struck Central Nebraska last summer won't have a large
effect one way or the other on the testing, he said. However, it was
reported last fall that, while the RDX plume was decreasing in size and
scope, officials had seen an increase in RDX readings on the grounds of
the former plant, located west of town.

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