Crash site cleanup
By The Tribune-Review Wednesday, September 11, 2002
The state Department of Environmental Protection has approved the final cleanup report for the United Airlines Flight 93 crash site near Shanksville in Somerset County.
"United Airlines did a thorough job in its investigation of the environmental effects from the September 2001 plane crash," said Charles A. Duritsa, the DEP southwest regional director.
"Site samples indicate that the site meets Pennsylvania's Act 2 statewide health standards for soil and groundwater for the fuel known as jet "A" fuel. We consider cleanup work at the site completed."
Betsy Mallison, a DEP spokeswoman, said it cost United Airlines $850,000 for the environmental investigation and remediation at the site of the crash in an old strip mine.
The site became a burial ground for 40 passengers and crew members who died after the jetliner was hijacked by four terrorists one year ago today.
United Airlines' site investigation included tests on samples of soil, sediment and groundwater in the immediate crash impact area, and also in the areas lying in the south and southeast corners of the site. The areas tested included a sediment pond drained during the FBI site investigation.
Soil sampling areas included the excavated pit, the area surrounding the pit and the backfill material.
"The backfill material was made up mostly of soil and dirt excavated from the pit during the criminal investigation," Duritsa said.
The material was in an area most likely to be contaminated by jet fuel, he said.
"Tests showed the area is considered safe," Duritsa added.Soil sampling was conducted in a grid pattern and samples were collected down to 6 inches, according to the DEP. A geoprobe was used throughout the crash site to evaluate deeper impacts. Groundwater samples were collected from four monitoring wells installed in the zone.