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How Army Corps of Engineers is working to address petroleum concerns at Buxton Beach

Buxton locals concerned about the impact of abandoned base, erosion on local economy
Posted at 9:56 PM, Jun 15, 2024

OUTER BANKS, N.C. — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will conduct geophysical work to find the fuel potentially present on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore from the Buxton Naval Facility, according to a recent release.

WTKR has been following through on this issue since Buxton beach visitors reported the apparent presence of a petroleum smell and sheen on the water earlier this year.

WATCH: Buxton Cape Hatteras National Seashore still closed due to apparent diesel fuel

Buxton Cape Hatteras National Seashore still closed due to apparent diesel fuel

“We’re committed to advancing our investigative efforts at the Buxton FUDS project,” said Col. Ron Sturgeon, USACE, Savannah District commander, in a statement about the new work. “After thoroughly reviewing the data collected to date at the site, we have determined that a more comprehensive investigation is needed within the project area to further assess the site based on current conditions.”

The work to identify the fuel potentially coming from Buxton Naval Facility will start as soon as the end of June or beginning of July, according to a release from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The work this summer will aid in a comprehensive sampling of the site later in the year.

WATCH: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers fast-tracks work at Buxton military base site

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers fast-tracks work at Buxton abandoned military site

The geophysical work is needed after an investigation by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Environmental and Munitions Center of Expertise reviewed data from the site, interviewed people from the Army Corps of Engineers, National Parks Service, U.S. Coast Guard and contractor personnel and evaluated 40 documents about the site as a "Formerly Used Defensive Site," according to the release.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says they completed pipe removal and sampled the soil in May. The contractor is waiting on the results of the sampling.

WATCH: Federal agencies vow more action to clean-up old military base site in Buxton

Federal agencies vow more action to clean-up old military base site in Buxton

A contract to perform more work at the site is expected to be awarded in October, according to the release.

In our previous reporting, Dare County officials stressed that the Buxton situation only impacts a small section of beach and most of the 70 miles of beach along the National Seashore remains open to the public this summer.