State, Northrop Grumman answer TCE questions


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – For those who live near an area affected by the chemical known as TCE tonight provided another chance to have some of their questions answered.

You may remember our reporting on this issue over the past year. The former Litton systems site near the Springfield Airport is said to be responsible for contaminating groundwater in the area with the cancer-causing chemical.

The meeting tonight at the relics event center was hosted by three entities: The Department of Natural Resources, The State Health Department, and Northrop Grumman, who takes responsibility for the contamination. Here are the big takeaways.

Between DNR and Northrop Grumman, 353 wells have been tested to date.

Six wells have tested above the MCL or the maximum contaminate level, meaning they were over the level that makes drinking water unsafe. Water treatment systems have been installed at those sites.

74 sites were found below that MCL and those sites will be monitored four times a year for a one year period.

People got the chance to check out where those sites were, in addition to other information about health, groundwater information and more. Presentations were made the parties involved, and a Q and A followed that.

We spoke to Brian Quinn with DNR who says they just want to make sure everyone feels safe.

“We hope that we’ve helped kind of (alleviate) some concerns, particularly for those who thought they have TCE in their well water but don’t,” Quinn said. “I think for the folks that do have some contamination in their well water, they are still concerned. That’s why we’re here.”

“We’ve had our well tested three times, and it’s come back normal all three times,” Jimmy Bolin who lives near contaminated site said. “Our concern about being here, it’s like the man across the street from us. His well is 500 some feet deep, and his well has TCE in his well.

“We’re across the street and our well is 300 feet deep and we don’t have TCE in ours. So, it’s kind of about trying to figure out and learn the ins-and-outs of the aquifers and the depth.”

Bolin says that while they haven’t been affected by TCE he says they worry about it when they shower, and they tell people it’s a possibility at gatherings they host.

He says many homes around him are for sale and have been for quite some time. Likely staying on the market thanks to TCE concerns.

For the full fact sheet, DNR provided, click here.

For those in the area who get their water from private wells may request free drinking-water sampling for TCE and other chemicals by calling 573-751-4187. For health-related questions about TCE, contact the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services at 573-751-6102.

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