Region 8

F.E. Warren Air Force Base

Warren Air Force Base site location map Site Type: Federal Facility Final NPL
City: Cheyenne
County: Laramie
Street Address: I-25 and Randall Ave.
ZIP Code: 82005
EPA ID: WY5571924179
SSID: 08H9
Site Aliases: None
Congressional District: At Large

Site Description

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.

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Site Risk

Contaminants Source of Contamination
solvents and a variety of fuels, found in both the soil and groundwater thirteen 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.

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Cleanup Progress

Construction is completed for six cleanup actions:

  • Installation of a municipal water-supply line that provides clean, safe drinking water to off-site residents whose water wells had been contaminated by seepage from the base.
  • Excavation of all wastes from Landfill 2C and restoration of the area. Landfill 2C was affecting surface-water quality in Crow Creek. Non-hazardous wastes were taken to the Weld County Landfill in Colorado. Project managers minimized any disturbance to the creek. Construction of a cap at Landfill 5A. The waste materials were covered to prevent human contact with them and to minimize water drainage below the surface.
  • Construction of a cap over Landfill 6. The cover over the waste minimize drainage below the surface. The landfill will be monitored for methane production, though only trace amounts have been detected so far. Installation of a wall below the water table at Spill Site 7. The wall made of over 600 feet of granular iron or iron-sand mix runs along Diamond Creek. Groundwater is cleaned up as it flows through. Solvents in the water react with the iron granules in the wall to remove most of the harmful chemicals.
  • Landfills 2a, 2b, 3, and 5b have been cleaned up, with wastes combined into the Waste Co-location Area (WCA) at former Landfill 5a.

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Site Documents

Update to the Five-Year Review, December 2010

Third Five-Year Review Report (PDF), February 3, 2010(154 pp, 1.5 MB, about PDF)

Records of Decision (RODs)

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David Rathke
EPA Project Manager
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 8
1595 Wynkoop Street (8EPR-F)
Denver, CO 80202-1129
303-312-6016 or
800-227-8917 ext. 312-6016 (toll free Region 8 only)

Site Information Repository:

Laramie County Library
Reference Section, 3rd Floor
2200 Pioneer Avenue
Cheyenne, WY 82001


Jane Francis
Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality
Water Quality Division
122 West 25th Street
Herschler Building, 4-W
Cheyenne, WY 82002

Warren AFB

John Wright
Remedial Project Manager
Environmental Restoration
90 SW/EM
300 Vesle Drive, Suite 600
F.E. Warren AFB, WY 82005

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F.E. Warren Air Force Base

Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, Water Quality Division Exit

Laramie County Library Exit

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