KINGMAN, Ariz. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District held a public meeting Sept. 9 in Kingman to discuss the next phase of cleaning up properties which were formerly part of the Kingman Ground-to-Ground Gunnery Range.
The area, a Formerly-Used Defense Site, was established in August 1942 and was home to the Kingman Flexible Gunnery School. There, recruits learned to use the guns aboard the B-17 bomber to shoot down enemy fighter planes. The training progressed from classroom to target shooting on the ground and then to air-to-air shooting in a plane. The site of the cleanup includes a former skeet range where students used shotguns to fire at clay targets or “pigeons.” The government returned the land to its former owners between 1946 and 1947 after the land was declared surplus in late 1945.
The Corps of Engineers had been working in the area since 1993 when it completed an Inventory Project Report for the former gunnery range. By 2006, the Corps completed a final Archives Search Report and the District conducted a site inspection of the former range. With that inspection, the Corps of Engineers authorized the District to complete a Time Critical Removal Action to address properties within MRS 03 which were contaminated with Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Munitions Constituents related to munitions and the clay “pigeons” which were used when the range was in operation.
“In the Kingman area, there are five Munitions Response Sites [in which there was the potential for legacy munitions and their related constituent components],” said Fran Firouzi, the District’s project manager. “MRS 03 had more threat to human health.”
The District received authorization and funding for the TCRA on properties inside MRS 03 because of the higher levels of PAHs within its boundary. From April 2013 to August 2014, the District completed remediation of nearly 60 residential properties within MRS 03. The District performed the work in two phases in coordination with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.
Currently, the District is planning to conduct a Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study for the areas surrounding the properties which were cleaned up during the remediation. The RI/FS will determine if any MCs or PAHs are present at those properties. The District is currently attempting to contact the owners for the properties in the potential study area to get Right of Entry forms signed. Without these documents, the District and its contractors cannot access a property to collect samples for study.
Firouzi and other District representatives present at the public meeting said the work should be completed within the next two years.