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Environmental Cleanup Site Information (ECSI) Database Site Summary Full Report - Details for Site ID 1703, Burns Air Force Station

This report shows data entered as of May 20, 2024 at 1:44:20 AM

This report contains site details, organized into the following sections: 1) Site Photos (appears only if the site has photos); 2) General Site Information; 3) Site Characteristics; 4) Substance Contamination Information; 5) Investigative, Remedial and Administrative Actions; and 6) Site Environmental Controls (i.e., institutional or engineering controls; appears only if DEQ has applied one or more such controls to the site). A key to certain acronyms and terms used in the report appears at the bottom of the page.

Note: DEQ may have posted online documents related to this site. If so, they would be available for viewing or downloading on ECSI Summary Page

Go to DEQ's Facility Profiler to see a site map as well is information on what other DEQ programs may be active at this site.

Site Photos

Click to View Photo Picture Date Caption Size
View Photo 05/20/1998 View of former base from radar platform. 1703 5-20-1998 17 Kb
View Photo 05/20/1998 View of former base. 1703 5-20-1998 18 Kb
View Photo 08/28/2003 View South along main entrance road. 1703 8-28-2003 41 Kb
View Photo 08/28/2003 Asbestos covered boiler. 1703 8-28-2003 75 Kb
View Photo 08/28/2003 Asbestos covered piping. 1703 8-28-2003 44 Kb
View Photo 08/28/2003 Fire damaged quonset hut with asbestos. 1703 8-28-2003 53 Kb
View Photo 08/28/2003 Asbestos floor tiles. 1703 8-28-2003 53 Kb

General Site Information

Site ID: 1703 Site Name: Burns Air Force Station CERCLIS No: 0001096957
Address: 23S/30E/S20 Burns 97720
  County: Harney Region: Eastern
Other location information:
Investigation Status: Suspect site requiring further investigation
  Brownfield Site: No NPL Site: No Orphan Site: Yes Study Area: No
Property: Twnshp/Range/Sect: 23S , 30E , 20 Tax Lots:
  Latitude: 43.5627 deg. Longitude: -119.1515 deg.  Site Size: 40.32 acres
Other Site Names:
  FUDS #F10OR0163
  Burns AFB

Site Characteristics

General Site Description:
Site History: Between 1954 and 1958, a total of 40.32 acres were acquired by the Air Force Aerospace for a Defense Command site on Burns Butte (a hill south of Burns). Improvements constructed by DOD included several large antennas, power-generation facilities, and numerous support facilities for the site. In 1958, additional lands were acquired near the City of Burns for a housing annex. In 1970, the site was determined excess and was slated for sale. The majority of the site is in disrepair, and as of May 2002 was under private ownership.
Contamination Information: (5/12/2002 BPM/FUDS) The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) conducted a site visit in August 1987, and identified three potential projects, including: 1) An area with 24 USTs and associated equipment, an hydraulic cylinder with oil storage, two overhead fuel storage tanks with piping equipment, and nine transformers remaining on-site that have not been used since DOD occupancy. 2) two abandoned disposal sites that may contain toxic materials. Both sites are approximately 5,000 square feet in size. One site contains four visible 55-gallon drums. An investigation was recommended. 3) Numerous buildings on-site that are structural hazards. The buildings are in various states of disrepair, due to vandalism. The site also contains several open sewer manholes and open pits, which are falling and drowning hazards. The manholes and pits are over 6 feet in depth and contain several feet of water. These hazards are located on lands under private ownership.
Manner and Time of Release:
Hazardous Substances/Waste Types: petroleum, PCBs, asbestos insulation, lead-based paints
Environmental/Health Threats:
Status of Investigative or Remedial Action: (5/12/2002 BPM/SAS) Memos dated January 1992 and February through May 1995 cite vandalism at the site and serve as Corps justification for not conducting further site work (much of the site and improvements were being "beneficially used" by private owners). In 1995, the Corps eliminated the site from further remedial work, having conducted several removals, as described below.

DEQ's Site Assessment file includes a 1996 preliminary assessment (PA) conducted by EPA, which states “according to the Corps, all tanks and pesticide-containing transformers have been removed from the site.” Two other removal actions involved removal of 5 cubic yards of PCB-contaminated soil. The PA also states that the Corps had planned to end its cleanup work after a 40 cubic yard removal near the radome building. The PA found the only documentation for the above actions was invoices, and concluded that the site was not a high enough priority for Superfund site consideration, but would be added to DEQ’s ECSI database.

DEQ's underground storage tank (UST) file for the site contains a contaminated soil report dated April 7, 1997, which was not in the Corps’ FUDS file, but was alluded to in the various documents (removal work). The UST report documents the removal of the following: 1) three steel USTs, two ASTs, and piping; 2) 625 gallons of heating oil; 3) one 55-gallon drum of sludge; 4) one 55-gallon drum of lead- and PCB-containing floor-drain material; 5) one 55-gallon drum of PCB- and pesticide-contaminated transformer oil; 6) six transformer carcasses; and 7) approximately 85 tons of PCB-contaminated soil and debris.

It is not clear what happened to the original 22 tanks mentioned in the Corps' 1987 visit. It appears that no actions have been performed on the disposal sites. More recently, DEQ’s Air Quality (AQ) Program has documented friable asbestos at the site.

Further investigation is needed at this site. DEQ declared the site an Orphan project in June 2003.

(11/14/05 D. Anderson/FUDS) In 2004, DEQ referred the site to EPA’s Removal Program for evaluation and subsequent removal activities. EPA completed a removal action at the site that included:

• Removal and disposal of 80 cubic yards of friable asbestos insulation from inside buildings and around steam pipes and boilers;
• Hauling 383 tons of asbestos-laden debris to approved off-site disposal locations from demolished buildings;
• Excavation, removal, and disposal of 200 tons of surface soil contaminated with PCBs; and
• Coordination of the recycling of 60 - 70 tons of scrap steel associated with the demolition.

Despite this work, some hazardous-substance contamination and asbestos may remain at this site, which needs further investigation.
Data Sources:

Substance Contamination Information

Substance Media Contaminated Concentration Level Date Recorded
No information is available

Investigative, Remedial and Administrative Actions

Action Start Date Compl. Date Resp. Staff Lead Pgm
Site added to CERCLIS 04/20/1995   FED
EPA Preliminary Assessment 2 04/20/1995 09/09/1996 FED
Site added to database 06/19/1995   Daniel Crouse SAS
Site Screening recommended (EV) 06/19/1995 06/19/1995 Daniel Crouse SAS
No Further Remedial Action Planned under Federal program 09/10/1996 09/10/1996 FED
SITE EVALUATION 05/20/1998 05/20/1998 Daniel Crouse SAS
Listing Review completed 05/20/1998 05/20/1998 Daniel Crouse SAS
Insufficient information to list 05/20/1998   Daniel Crouse SAS
Preliminary Assessment Equivalent recommended (PAE) 05/20/1998 05/20/1998 Daniel Crouse SAS
Site Investigation recommended (SI) 05/12/2002 05/12/2002 Brian McClure SRS
ORPHAN SITE 06/30/2003   Brett McKnight SRS
REMOVAL ASSESSMENT 08/28/2003 05/04/2004 David Anderson SRS
SITE INVESTIGATION 08/28/2003 05/04/2004 David Anderson SRS
Refer to Program 05/04/2004 05/04/2004 David Anderson SRS
REMOVAL 06/04/2004 11/04/2004 David Anderson FED
Site Confirmatory Sampling recommended  (Primary Action) 11/14/2005 11/14/2005 David Anderson FUD

Key to Certain Acronyms and Terms in this Report:

You may be able to obtain more information about this site by contacting David Anderson at the Eastern regional office or via email at If this does not work, you may contact Ximena Cruz Cuevas (503) 229-6811, or via email at or contact the Eastern regional office.