Jump to main content.

Fact Sheet

June 2012

EPA to Hold Availability Meeting Regarding Proposal to Connect 52 Residences to City Water, Scottsbluff (Ex) Air Force Base Site, Scotts Bluff County, Nebraska


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 and the City of Scottsbluff will hold a Public Availability Meeting on Tuesday, June 12, 2012, from 7 to 9 p.m., at the Scottsbluff Senior Center. The purpose of the meeting is to provide information regarding a one-time offer to connect 52 homes in the Hillerage community to Scottsbluff’s city water line. Residents will also be given the opportunity to sign access agreements at the meeting, allowing EPA and the City access to property for installation of water hookups.

Contamination was found in 20 of 24 private drinking water wells sampled. The contaminant is arsenic, found at levels that exceed EPA’s Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL), which is the level which requires action.

You are invited

EPA and Scottsbluff representatives will hold a Public Availability Meeting on:

Tuesday, June 12, 2012, 7 to 9 p.m.
Scottsbluff Senior Center
1502 21st Avenue, Scottsbluff, Neb.

The purpose of the meeting is to provide information and answer residents’ questions on EPA’s proposed action.

For more information, contact:

Beckie Himes
Community Involvement Coordinator
Toll-free: 1-800-223-0425, ext. 7253
Email: himes.beckie@epa.gov

EPA Region 7 is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate in the meeting, please notify the EPA Reasonable Accommodations Coordinator, Jonathan Cooper, at 800-223-0425 or cooper.jonathan@epa.gov. Speech or hearing impaired individuals should email or call using the local relay service.


In 2006, EPA conducted sampling to determine whether elevated levels of arsenic and lead concentrations detected in several private residential wells may have come from a former landfill at the site. Thirty-one private wells were sampled, including the 24 wells in the Hillerage community south of the former landfill. Total arsenic was detected at concentrations above the MCL in 20 residential wells.

In August 2008, EPA conducted sampling to determine whether the former landfill was the source of the arsenic contamination. Sampling showed that the ground water plume containing the arsenic contamination is migrating from the landfill into the Hillerage community.

In November 2011, an additional round of residential well sampling took place. A total of 33 wells were sampled, 16 of which had not been previously sampled. Sample analysis indicated that 23 of the wells sampled had arsenic levels above the MCL. Of the 16 wells sampled for the first time, 12 had arsenic levels above the MCL.

In early April, EPA representatives contacted some of the 24 homeowners, plus 28 additional residents known to be in the path of the plume, seeking approval to connect their properties to the city water line. That process will continue the first week of June. The connection to the city water line will begin in mid-June.

Arsenic is a semi-metal element. It is odorless and tasteless. Arsenic enters drinking water supplies from natural deposits in the earth, or from agricultural and industrial practices. Non-cancer effects can include thickening and discoloration of the skin, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, numbness in hands and feet, partial paralysis and blindness. Arsenic has been linked to cancer of the bladder, lungs, skin, kidneys, nasal passages, liver and prostate. 


EPA proposes to connect the 52 residences to the City of Scottsbluff’s city water system. This is a one-time offer. By participating with EPA, residents must discontinue use of their residential well as a drinking water source. Wells can continue to be used to water yards. If approval is not received to connect to city water, an imminent and substantial endangerment to the health of the public may result from continued ingestion of the water from the private drinking water wells.


Individuals may write to the EPA contact below to join the mailing list. Joining the mailing list will allow an individual to receive any updated information directly throughout the removal action process.

If you have questions or want to receive information about the site, please contact:

Beckie Himes
Community Involvement Coordinator
U.S. EPA Region 7
Office of Public Affairs
901 N. 5th Street
Kansas City, KS 66101
Toll-free: 1-800-223-0425, ext. 7253
Email: himes.beckie@epa.gov

For information regarding connecting to City water, please contact one of the following representatives from the City of Scottsbluff Water Services:

Vicky Thomason
Phone: (308) 630-6258
Jack Satur
Phone: (308) 630-6257

Local Navigation

Jump to main content.