Superfund Site Profile
Chanute Air Force Base (AFB) is located in Champaign County, Illinois. It was constructed in 1917. The main base covers 2,125 acres. It initially served as a pilot training facility for Air Force personnel, civilian employees, and for other Department of Defense personnel, and as a storage depot for aircraft engines and paint. From 1922 to 1938, the base served as a training school for all Air Corps mechanics. Training activities focused on operation and maintenance of military aircraft and ground support equipment. During World War II, technical training operations focused on aircraft maintenance and metal processing. Military flight operations were terminated at Chanute AFB in 1971, and base closure began in 1990 in response to an order issued by the Secretary of Defense. All military operations at the base ceased in September 1993, and portions of the base became available for commercial and other uses. The Air Force Real Property Agency (AFRPA), known as the Air Force Base Conversion Agency (AFBCA) prior to 2002, currently oversees the base closure.
Base operations and waste disposal activities contaminated soil, sediment, leachate, and groundwater with hazardous materials. The Air Force is leading the site’s cleanup, with oversight provided by Illinois EPA.