Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Synar Says No Health Dangers Exist from Tinker AFB Pollutants

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Synar Says No Health Dangers Exist from Tinker AFB Pollutants

Article excerpt

Oklahoma Congressman Mike Synar says ""no one's health is in danger'' from pollutants near the surface of the Garber-Wellington aquifer at Tinker Air Force Base.

A consultant's report released Monday said two wells at the base outside Oklahoma City that were closed because of contamination of the water supply could spread that contamination to the aquifer.

Synar, a Democrat from Muskogee, released the report by Radian Corp. of Austin, Texas. It said trichloroethylene, a degreasing compound, was found in high concentrations in ground water at the base- 642 parts per billion, in one sample - along with other volatile organic compounds.

Trichloroethylene causes cancer in laboratory animals. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends that drinking water supplies not contain more than 5 parts per billion.

The report confirms allegations made a year ago during a congressional subcommittee hearing in Midwest City, said Synar, a frequent critic of Tinker and its polluion cleanup program.

Synar said he would ask Air Force officials what steps they are taking to address the problems uncovered in the Radian study, commissioned by Tinker to identify pollution problems and sources on the base.

The report shows the pollution has reached the Garber-Wellington aquifer, an underground water-bearing formation that supplies drinking water to much of central Oklahoma, Synar said.

He said the extent of the problem needs to be established and that more tests should be conducted at two sites.

Col. Shelton Birch, a Tinker bio-enviromental engineer, said the report was ""part of the base's restoration program'' and had originally been released by Tinker last week.

Birch said that efforts to stop any further contamination would be made by the Army Corps of Enginers.

The chemical is not coming from a single source, but is the result of more than 30 years of overhaul and repair of aircraft at Building 3001 on the base, with waste disposal in pits, the report said. …

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