f.e. warren air force base


Operations began at the U.S. Army outpost, named Fort D.A. Russell, in 1867. The name was changed to Fort F.E. Warren in 1930. The base was a major training facility during and after World War II. Fort F.E. Warren was transferred to the newly formed U.S. Air Force in 1947 and was renamed F.E. Warren Air Force Base. In 1958, the base became a Strategic Air Command site. Since then, it has served as an operations center for the Atlas Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM), later for the Minuteman I and III and finally, for the Peacekeeper ICBMs. Studies identified hazardous substances in 10 general areas (operable units) of the base, including 13 landfills, two fire-protection training areas, six spill sites, base-wide groundwater, a firing range, a battery-acid disposal site, and an open burning/open detonation area. The main contaminants are solvents and a variety of fuels, found in both the soil and groundwater. Historically, F.E. Warren Air Force Base has served a number of military functions: cavalry outpost, quartermaster depot and intercontinental ballistic missile operations base. Past activities left contamination at the base and at some adjacent private residences. Among the contaminants detected on the base are solvents and a variety of fuels. The base occupies about 6,000 acres immediately west of the City of Cheyenne. It is bordered by agricultural land and suburban homes. The Air Force, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the State of Wyoming have formed a partnership to address potential human health and ecological risks in groundwater and soils. Some of the groundwater contaminants had moved beyond the base boundary to the east. Residents using contaminated groundwater for drinking water, cooking or bathing could face unacceptable health risks. EPA added the base to its National Priorities List (NPL) on February 21, 1990. A removal action is planned for spring 2003 in the Spill Site 7 source area soils. Other removals may be planned for the landfills and source areas through 2004 depending on the results of continuing investigations. Investigations will continue to study contamination and risks so that final, long-term remedies can be evaluated. Investigations are in progress for the Open Burn Open Detonation area, seven spill sites, Landfill 4, and Landfill 7. Remedies for these areas should be chosen in 2003. Most final remedies will be chosen by 2005, although some will extend into 2007. The cleanup team at F.E. Warren Air Force Base won the General Thomas D. White Award for the Best Installation category. This follows a similar award in 2001 for Team Excellence. This was in recognition of accelerated cleanup efforts with costs below original estimates, improved public confidence, and cooperative working relationships with EPA and Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (WDEQ). The Department of Defense expects cleanup of the entire base to exceed $200 million. All cleanup activities are being performed by the Air Force. EPA and the State of Wyoming provide oversight to ensure that all requirements are met.

Hazardous Ranking Score

39 / 100

A score of 28.5 or higher qualifies a site for the Superfund National Priority List.

Regional Contact

Region 8
Phone: (303) 312-6312

Contact Region



Site Inspection
Preliminary Assessment
Final Listing On NPL

Contaminants & Health Effects

      Endocrine Disrupter
      Reproductive Toxin
      Persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic


        African American
        American Indian and Alaska Native
        Native Hawaiian


        People living
        within a 1 mile radius


        Average Income


        Occupied homes

        Potentially Responsible Parties

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