Boeing Wichita Site

Site Background

The Boeing Site is an industrial area of southeast Wichita, Kansas. A long history of industrialization has left a legacy of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in soil and groundwater throughout the area, including tetrachloroethene; trichloroethene; cis-1, 2 dichloroethene; vinyl chloride; and benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene(s). Another contaminant of concern is chromium (hexavalent and total).

Since the 1930's Boeing or its predecessors have manufactured airplanes at the site, using chromium and various solvents during aircraft parts fabrication and aircraft assembly. The original Boeing facility occupied approximately 1,127 acres, much of which has been sold to other parties. However, Boeing continues to perform environmental remediation activities.

Contamination was identified in 1985 during an environmental investigation of the nearby Cessna Plant II facility. The contamination is generally attributed to a history of solvent degreasing, metal plating, and fuel spills or leaks. KDHE has issued several Administrative Orders, Consent Orders, and Amendments to Orders to address the contamination. Since January 1996 Boeing has completed multiple investigations, installed a groundwater extraction and treatment system, addressed source area contamination, established interim and remedial measures to control contamination migration, and continued work to delineate the contaminant plume, including establishing a zero concentration line.

Boeing has worked cooperatively with KDHE to address environmental impacts, including operating approximately 179 recovery wells, 195 monitoring wells, and nine air stripper sites; installing a 300-foot long by 30-foot deep groundwater interceptor trench to recover off-site groundwater contamination; performing dual-phase recovery at select well locations; and installing more than a dozen air-strippers to remove VOCs dissolved in recovered groundwater. The treated water is either discharged to the Arkansas River through a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit or is treated at the Spirit Industrial Waste Treatment Plant and reused in the Spirit plant. The combined remedial systems are effectively reducing VOCs in groundwater.

Since 2003 Boeing has also installed enhanced anaerobic bioremediation pilot projects, excavated identified soil sources, and operated soil-vapor extraction and air sparge systems. Remedial work continues to reduce contaminant concentrations in on-site and off-site areas.

The public comment period for the KDHE's plan to address the groundwater and soil contamination expired at 5:00 PM on August 2, 2012.

Additional Information

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Portions of these reports may have been removed in order to make them web-ready. Complete copies are available by contacting Margaret Townsend.