Missouri Department of Natural Resources holds public meeting to discuss TCE concerns

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) held a public meeting Thursday night to discuss trichloroethylene (TCE) concerns.

The DNR apologized for not telling people sooner.

"For those people to who this came as a surprise and especially to those folks who had TCE in their wells and didn't know it ... I apologize," Ed Galbraith, Director of the Division of Environmental Quality, said. "That is our job we didn't tell people enough at the right time about that."

According to the DNR, the TCE is traveling from the former Litton Systems site on West Kearney St. in Springfield. Litton manufactured circuit boards. Officials believe the contamination could impact people within five miles of the site.

Fantastic Caverns announced the discovery of TCE in late 2018. They began drilling ventilation holes to stop the flow of TCE. Tom Aley, with Ozark Underground Lab, works with Fantastic Caverns. He presented during the meeting sharing how TCE has impacted the cave. He says it has been a costly process to keep the cave safe for guests.

Hundreds of people opted to have their private wells tested by the DNR for TCE contamination. Four wells tested positive for TCE higher than the maximum contamination level. Northrop Grumman, the owners of the former Litton site, provided carbon filtration systems and bottled waters to those homeowners.

The DNR states it has been actively involved with the Litton site since 1979.

Homeowners and business owners who attended the meeting tell KY3/ KSPR they were hoping for more answers.

"I think everyone in the area has been let down because nobody seemed to know that this was going on," Don York, TCE found in his well, said.

Those with the DNR announced they are investigating another TCE site in Willard. They are looking into the Electro-Pac.