Lynne Hermansen
The Army solicited a Restoration Advisory Board at their public forum at DeSoto Town Hall last month to help oversee the Sunflower Army Ammunition Project.
However, they said they hadn’t received enough interest and will re-solicit in 24 months.
The Army said they will continue its public outreach and anticipate providing cleanup updates about three times a year.
U.S. Army base closure personnel responsible for the clean up process gave the public details at the public forum in July on the remediation of the soil, water, buildings and drainage pipes that had been contaminated from decades of manufacturing high explosives at the site.
Ian Thomas, program manager with the Department of Defense’s Base Realignment and Closure entity, said they were looking for 50 people interested for a Restoration Advisory Board.
The RAB provides the community the opportunity to be involved with site specific cleanup and environmental restoration. It is a cross section of government officials and a cross section of residents voluntarily representing their community.
“It’s an opportunity to influence the Army’s decisions,”he said.
Governor Laura Kelly recently announced Panasonic is building a $4 billion electric vehicle battery production facility on a section of the former Sunflower plant.
The plant South of K-10 in DeSoto closed in 1997 and is expected to still take another six years for clean up. It was transferred to the Sunflower Redevelopment Limited Liability Company in 2005.
$109 million was originally dedicated for clean up. In 2015, the Army began a new $170 million strategy after learning the initial amounts were insufficient to make the thousands of acres environmentally safe for development.
The Army has been cleaning up the site in a 12 year process helping remove explosive and rocket propellant remains.