Click here to watch Mr. Frederick’s testimony.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), welcomed the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality’s Water Quality Division Administrator Kevin Frederick to the committee. Mr. Frederick was testifying before the committee at a hearing on “Cleaning up Our Nation’s Cold War Legacy Sites.”
Chairman Barrasso introduced Mr. Frederick to the committee prior to his testimony. “I would now like to turn to Mr. Kevin Frederick. Mr. Frederick is the administrator of the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality’s Water Quality Division,” said Barrasso.
“Mr. Frederick previously managed the Groundwater Section for the Water Quality Division in Cheyenne. He oversaw day-to-day permitting, compliance, inspection, and monitoring activities involving the Underground Injection Control Program, the Groundwater Pollution Control Program, and the Federal Facilities Corrective Action Program. Prior to joining the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, he worked in the energy minerals and oil and gas industry.
“In 2007, Mr. Frederick received an EPA Region 8 Environmental Achievement Award for leadership in groundwater management. This is a man who clearly knows of what he speaks. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Ground Water Protection Council, and the Ground Water Research and Education Foundation.
“He has a degree in geology and geophysics from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and is a Wyoming licensed professional geologist,” said Barrasso.
In his written testimony, Mr. Frederick stated that there are currently 38 formerly used defense sites in Wyoming. The sites with the largest environmental impact in Wyoming are the seven former Atlas Missile sites, used during the Cold War to house nuclear missiles.
“The Atlas Missile sites played a crucial role in protecting the safety and security of the American people and ensured the military readiness of the United States armed forces. However, some of the sites have, and continue to cause serious environmental problems,” said Mr. Frederick.
Over the years, chemicals from these sites have sunk into the ground, contaminating the drinking water, including a known carcinogen called Trichloroethylene (TCE). At one of the missile sites, the drinking water has levels of TCE that are 48,000 times the safe drinking water limit.
Clean up of these sites is neither easy nor cheap, as Mr. Frederick pointed out. “Overall costs expended to date at the seven missile sites exceed $45,000,000, and much work remains to be done. As of 2015, the Department of Defense estimated that the cost to complete the investigation and remediation of formerly used defense sites in Wyoming at $285,134,000.”
While Mr. Frederick noted that the Department of Defense is responsible for the contamination, the state of Wyoming works with the Army Corps of Engineers to optimize cleanup efforts.
“Collaboration between our respective agencies, together with public involvement, allows cleanup of these sites in a way that works, and that is cost effective. Upfront planning and communication, including a clear understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the agencies involved, and mutual understanding of the federal and state regulations at work are essential to the success of this endeavor,” said Mr. Frederick.