Officials celebrated the completion of the environmental cleanup of a 62-acre parcel of land on the grounds of the former McClellan AFB, Calif. This was the nation’s first privatized remediation of a Defense Department site targeted under the Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund program. “This cleanup is the first of its kind on a closed military base that’s a Superfund site and it will not be the last,” said Timothy Bridges, USAF’s deputy assistant secretary for environment, safety, and occupational health. The cleanup required digging up about 26,000 tons of polluted soil and treating it with heat to destroy contaminates. Private developers may now utilize those 62 acres. Before it closed in 2001, McClellan was home to the Sacramento Air Logistics Center. Bridges said the Air Force already has transferred 560 additional acres on the former base to private developers using this same approach and is in final negotiations “to transfer 515 more.” (McClellan report by Linda Geissinger)
NASA, SpaceX, and United Launch Alliance are all preparing to launch their next-gen rockets from Florida’s Space Coast, two of them before the year is out. One is expected to liberate the U.S. launch enterprise from its reliance on Russian-made RD-180 engines, while all three rockets could eventually carry astronaut crews.