Luke Air Force Base
The Luke Air Force Base (LAFB) site occupies 4,198 acres in Glendale, Arizona, which is approximately 13 miles west of downtown Phoenix. There are approximately 4,900 military personnel and dependents living on base. Civilian and other military personnel who commute to the base daily from off-base areas bring the total daily base population to approximately 8,000.
Contaminants of Concern
Contaminants used on site included organic solvents and paint strippers, waste oil spills, petroleum spills, metal plating wastes, hydraulic fluids, and radiological wastes. Soil was contaminated with waste oils and volatile organic compounds resulting from the diverse processes that have taken place at the site. Potential human health hazards included accidental ingestion or direct contact with contaminated materials.
Public Health Impact
There is no known risk to human health at this time. All exposure pathways have been eliminated through remediation or restricted access/use. No groundwater wells are known to be impacted. There was no cleanup of groundwater required, and the AF is continuing long-term groundwater monitoring to assure that it is not impacted in the future. The site is protective of human health and the environment.
The base is located within the Sonoran Desert and rests on a broad alluvium-filled valley within the western portion of the Phoenix basin characterized by hot, dry summers, mild winters, and low precipitation. The depth to groundwater in the area is greater than 200 feet below the surface with a relatively low flow gradient.
In 2017, the fourth Five Year Review (FYR) was released. The FYR determined that all remedies are functioning as designed, continue to be protective of human health and the environment, and control exposure pathways that could result in unacceptable risks. The next FYR will be due January 30, 2022.
By 2023, LAFB intention is to achieve site closure for the majority of the sites listed in the FYR. The Air Force defines site closure (SC) when the regulatory agency(ies) concur that an environmental site’s active management and monitoring is complete. That is, no further long-term monitoring (LTM) and/or institutional controls (ICs) are required by both the regulator and USAF. Actions will include confirmation sampling, excavation, waste disposal, water sampling and inspections.
Additionally (for non-FYR activities), the U.S. Air Force is continuing investigation into the per- and polyfluorinated alkyl (PFAS) family of substances. The U.S. EPA has acknowledged the PFAS family of substances as “emerging contaminants”. PFAS at Luke Air Force Base is associated (primarily) with firefighting foam. Aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) release areas were investigated in 2017.
The FYR-sites are in various stages of sampling and reporting. ADEQ anticipates some reports to be presented during summer of 2018.
ADEQ anticipates the PFAS site inspection report to be presented during summer of 2018.