Contamination shrinks, business expands at former Cornhusker Ammo Plant

Hall County Supervisor Steve Schuppan checks out a map showing the plume of contamination at the former Cornhusker Army Ammunition Plant (NTV News)

Business expands, as contamination shrinks at the former Cornhusker Army Ammunition Plant.

The president of the Grand Island Area Economic Development Corporation said they have found a buyer for one parcel at the former ammo plant.

Dave Taylor said, “We recently closed on selling 55 acres to a local business so they're going to expand out there, so it's growth for not only people coming in to town but expansion of local businesses, so we're excited to announce that.”

Taylor said they would be able to release more details soon.

The plant went into operation during World War II to help the allied effort, but it left a mixed legacy, with explosive chemicals RDX and TNT in the soil.

This week the Hall County Board of Supervisors learned the plume of contamination is shrinking.

A project manager from Bay West, a contractor on the site, said a water treatment plant has been effective.

Paul Walz said cleanup has gotten an unlikely assist, from area cattle.

He told the board, “There were concentration reductions occurring under the feedlot and folks did the research and figured out the waste products from animals in the feedlot were changing the groundwater geochemistry in a way that was conducive to biologically breaking down the contaminants.”

“Cattle were cleaning it up,” Supervisor Steve Schuppan added.

“Cattle were helping, yep,” Walz responded.

The project manager said several areas now fall below federal limits.

Economic development officials say they continue to market the site, and hope to have announcements soon.

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