55th Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 19, 2019
Environmental restoration employees deploy a containment boom from a boat March 18, 2019, on Offutt Air Force Base. One-third of the installation was flooded and the boom was a precautionary measure for possible fuel leaks. (U.S. Air Force photo by Delanie Stafford)
Out of an abundance of caution, Offutt Air Force Base officials have taken precautionary measures to mitigate potential fuel leaks from storage units on-base.
There is no evidence of a ruptured tank or a fuel line leak at this time.
After reviewing aerial photos of the areas of the installation affected by flooding, base officials identified a sheen on top of the flood water near the fuel storage area. More than 3,700 feet of boom was deployed to ensure any possible fuel leak was contained.
Closer examination, by boat, at the site, leads base officials to suspect the sheen is actually caused by residual fuel from submerged equipment. Again, there is no evidence of a ruptured tank or a fuel line leak.
“Thanks to the continued cooperation between federal, state and local officials, appropriate containment actions were completed in a timely manner,” said Col. Michael Manion, 55th Wing commander. “We have been able to prevent damage to the environment and have ensured all agency notifications have been completed.”
At this point, one of the base’s older storage tanks has collapsed, but was empty and no longer in service.
“We are continuing to monitor the area with support from members of the EPA Region 7 emergency response team,” Manion said. “There is no threat to personnel at this time and we are committed to ensuring compliance with all environmental procedures moving forward.”
Additionally, officials have been and continue to test the base’s drinking water and it remains safe to drink.