Titan 1 missile complexes
The Titan I was one of the first strategic, intercontinental ballistic missiles developed by the United States. The 98-foot-long, two-stage missile was fueled by kerosene (RP-1 fuel) and liquid oxygen, and was designed to carry nuclear warheads.
There are six former Titan I missile complexes in Colorado.
Four (1A, 1B, 1C and 2A) are located on the Former Lowry Bombing and Gunnery Range (FLBGR) east of Aurora.
One (2B) is located north of Deer Trail.
One (2C) is located south of Elizabeth.
We work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to evaluate and clean up the complexes.
The complexes were decommissioned and the missiles removed in 1965. Public and private owners later acquired the complexes.
Soil contamination from petroleum chemicals and/or from polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), often associated with electrical equipment and waterproofing paint, has been found at some sites.
Groundwater contamination from cleaning solvents, such as perchloroethylene (PCE) and trichloroethylene (TCE), has also been found at some sites.
Water from domestic wells near some of the sites has been tested. No contamination above drinking water standards has been found.
Some silo water samples have elevated levels of PCBs or metals such as zinc and cadmium. The metals may be related to water corrosion of metal structures in the complexes.
While Titan I missiles were armed with plutonium-based nuclear warheads, we have no evidence of radioactive contamination at the sites. Warhead maintenance occurred at the warhead-manufacturing facilities and not at the sites themselves.
Investigations at the four complexes on the Former Lowry Bombing and Gunnery Range have found naturally occurring radiation such as uranium, radium and potassium, which are related to the geologic formations at the missile sites. However, no man-made radiation, such as plutonium or americium, has been found.
Environmental investigations have focused on past Department of Defense practices at the missile sites and include sampling and analysis of soil, groundwater, domestic well water, and water in the silos.
Complex 1A: Closed in November 2004 as a result of investigations and cleanup of surface soil and water in the underground complex. The city and county of Denver owns the property.
Complex 1B (D015): Located on the Former Lowry Bombing and Gunnery Range, southeast of Denver. Investigations at this missile complex have been completed. Polychlorinated biphenol (PCB) contamination associated with drainage ditch and sewage lagoons has been removed, but a chlorinated solvent groundwater contamination plume containing perchloroethene (PCE) and trichloroethene (TCE) remains to be resolved. An onsite in-situ treatability study was completed to help select the preferred remedy involving in-situ chemical oxidation. The Construction Completion and Remedy-in-Place (RIP) report was completed in 2015.
Complex 1C (D044): Located on the Former Lowry Bombing and Gunnery Range, southeast of Denver. Investigations at this missile complex have been completed. A feasibility study to evaluate options for soil and groundwater cleanup was completed in early 2010. A chlorinated solvent groundwater contamination plume, include perchloroethene (PCE) and trichloroethene (TCE), remains to be resolved. An onsite in-situ treatability study is underway to determine the most effective remedial alternative.
Complex 2A (the former Bennett Army National Guard facility): Closed in July 2006 as a result of investigations and surface soil cleanup; transferred to private ownership. The two deep water supply wells were plugged and abandoned in accordance with state regulations. An environmental covenant was placed on 23 acres restricting access to the underground complex, use of groundwater beneath the complex, and intrusive activities (e.g., excavation and drilling).
Complex 2B (D045): Located near Deer Trail. The Site Inspection (SI) fieldwork was completed in fall 2009. Based on the characterization data developed during the site inspection, only polychlorinated biphenols (PCBs) in the lagoon wastes (soils) is an issue. A non-time-critical removal of the impacted soils was performed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and a "No Action" Record of Decision for this site was approved on September 2013.
Complex 2C (D046): Located in Elbert County. Both perchloroethene (PCE) and trichloroethene (TCE) have been quantified in groundwater above basic groundwater standards at two separate monitoring wells. It is possible PCE and/or TCE concentrations above standards extend beyond the property boundary, but no monitoring wells have been installed beyond the property boundary to date. Groundwater characterization work necessary to complete delineation is planned in 2016.
Documents regarding site investigation and/or cleanup plans for the former Titan I missile complexes are available for review at the following locations:
For all complexes:
For complexes on the former Lowry Bombing and Gunnery Range:
Aurora Public Library
Central Library Branch
14949 E. Alameda Parkway
Aurora, CO 80012
9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday; 12:30-6 p.m. Sunday
For Complex 2C:
Pines and Plains Library
651 West Beverly Street
Elizabeth, CO 80107
9 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday