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EPA and Texas Declare U.S. Air Force Facility "Ready for Reuse"

Release Date: 3/24/2004
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

      Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) issued a "ready for reuse" determination to Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas.

      TCEQ and EPA agree that the Air Force has successfully completed its evaluation and cleanup of former Fire Training Area No. 3 (FT003).  The "ready for reuse" determination verifies that the environmental conditions on the site are protective of human health and the environment based on its current and anticipated use as a commercial/industrial property.

      EPA Federal Facilities Section Chief Laurie King said, "Today's announcement highlights our newest program to promote the reuse of formerly used industrial properties.  We are building on our experience using the enormously successful brownfields program.  Our 'ready for reuse' determinations clear the way for reuse of valuable natural resources by providing necessary encouragement and assurances to developers."

      A "ready for reuse" determination provides, in a straightforward manner, specific information about a site, including the nature and extent of contamination, the cleanup work performed (if needed), and the status of the property with respect to state and federal requirements.

      TCEQ Manager for Department of Defense Cleanups Allan Posnick said, "Traditionally, when a facility achieves the environmental cleanup, the environmental agency issues a no further action (NFA) letter.  Although an NFA letter is a great achievement, it reflects a passive mindset.  'Ready for reuse,' on the other hand, is a dynamic mindset, which emphasizes economic development, job creation, and expansion."

      FT003 was used for fire protection training exercises from approximately 1957 to 1992.  A variety of materials -- principally waste fuels -- were burned at the site during the exercises.  Today, exercises are conducted at a new fire fighter training facility near FT003.

      82nd Training Wing Commander Brigadier General Arthur Rooney, Jr. said, "Sheppard continues to prove time and time again that our people are proactive in their stewardship of the environment and protection of our nation's resources. Sheppard AFB proudly accepts this determination and will continue our efforts into the future to ensure that Texoma stays safe and beautiful."

      More information about the Sheppard Air Force Base "ready for reuse" determination is available at