The former AFB is located in Aroostook County, in northern Maine occupying approximately 8,704 acres in the lower Aroostook River Basin. It lies approximately two miles northwest of the town of Limestone, eight miles northeast of Caribou, and five miles west of the Canadian border of New Brunswick.To the north and east of the Site is the Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge, to the south is the Aroostook Band of Micmac Trust Land, and to the west is agricultural and residential land.
The former Loring AFB was placed on the U.S. Congress Base Closure List (1991) as part of the Base Realignment and Closure program (BRAC) and was closed in September 1994. After closure, the Air Force transferred numerous portions of the property to the Loring Development Authority, as well as to other organizations.
In October 2018, Maine Department of Environmental Protection (MEDEP) became aware that 24 abandoned, obsolete containers of aircraft fire fighting foam (AFFF) that were stockpiled at and remained on LDA property (formerly Loring AFB). The AFFF became obsolete with a change in military specifications in early 1990 while the USAF was operating the base. The AFFF was abandoned in containers in an onsite building, which is located on a portion of the site that was transferred to the LDA.
MEDEP investigated the potential threat posed by the AFFF. Given the likely past releases and threat of future release of AFFF, MEDEP began discussions with the Air Force and EPA regarding removal and disposal of the AFFF containers. The drums originate from the Air Force during active military operations at the Loring AFB and have been abandoned at the Site for over 15 years. Because the Air Force and LDA have been unable or unwilling to take steps to address the threat posed by the AFFF, MEDEP initiate a removal action for the AFFF that was discovered on-site in October 2018, as well as another approximately 2,000 gallons of the AFFF that was distributed to the area rural fire departments. MEDEP transported all the AFFF from the varrious locations on Loring and from the rural fire departments to Building 7210.
On July 17, 2019, the EPA Federal On-Scene Coordinator (OSC) mobilized to the Site to conduct a preliminary assessment and site investigation. The OSC coordinated with the LDA Facilities Manager to enter Building 7210 and inspect the abandoned, obsolete AFFF drums, totes and containers. The OSC observed approximately 5000 gallons of AFFF in various types of containers, in various stages of container integrity stored in Building 7210.
In September 2019, an Action Memorandum, authorizing the repackaging, transportation and disposal of the approximately 5,000 gallons of AFFF was approved.
Repackaging and transportation of the AFFF to the disposal facility in Arkansas occurred in October 16-18, 2019. The disposal certifications from the facility were received on November 6th and the final 1900 was approved November 22, 2019.