Craigmont Air Service


Craigmont Air Service is a facility with legacy pesticide usage, extent of contamination in soil and groundwater are unknown. The City of Craigmont owns the 88.3 acres of mixed-use property that includes a paved lighted airstrip, adjoining crop land (currently leased), a commercial building leased to a private business, a summer fire crew quarters on a parcel leased by the Idaho Dept. of Lands, and the Craigmont Air Services operation (leased). The City has owned the property for over 80 years and has leased a portion of the site out as an agriculture aviation business for over 40 years. Craigmont Air Service has been the site of mixing and loading of pesticides for aerial applications. This site was also used for a small fixed-wing fire retardant base for the Idaho Department of Lands and the United States Forest Service.


Mr. Buck Erickson leased and operated an agriculture aviation business from the 1960s to 2001. The extent of Erickson’s use of the property has been difficult to determine due to his death in 2001. However, the Nez Perce Tribe and Region 10 EPA discovered now-banned pesticides remaining in the soil presumably used during his operation.


In 2001, Stan Bybee took over the lease and operated Craigmont Air Services, until 2005. Based on soil samples collected during an August 17, 2005, EPA RCRA inspection of Craigmont Air Services and a questionnaire filled out by Bybee, EPA concluded that Bybee was not responsible for the soil contamination because the pesticides were banned prior to his taking ownership of the business.


There were four UST’s on site; three of the UST’s with unknown capacity were removed in 1992 and one 12,000 gallon January 2010. A 500 – 1,000 gallon UST which was used for heating oil still remains. UST removal oversight, confirmation sampling and closure documentation were completed by the Nez Perce Tribe in coordination with IDEQ’s and EPA site assessment activities.


Prior to a new tenant purchasing the agriculture aviation business, the City of Craigmont plans to:

  • Remove the pesticide storage building, re-grade the pesticide storage building site, and pave the site.
  • Install a stormwater retention system on-site


Site History:

  • March 2010-Notification of Permanent UST Closure (NFA) issued by EPA
  • January 2010-Roach Construction Company removed a 12,000 gallon aviation gas UST containing approximately 40 gallons of damp sludge, soil excavated was normal in color with no apparent odor, inspection of the tank showed no deep pitting inside or out, 4 soil samples were taken, lab results returned showed non-detect, tank was taken to Pacific Steel for recycling, fuel sludge was treated at Roach Construction landfarm, excavation was filled with onsite clay, imported basalt rock and gravel (work funded by Stan Bybee)
  • June 2009 UST inspection. The unit is in Temporary Out of Use (TOU)
  • May 2009 – EPA, IDEQ and Nez Perce Tribe conducted a Targeted Brownfield Assessment
  • March 2009, Mr. Bybee agreed to pay the EPA an $8,191 penalty for failure to monitor the UST monthly for releases to the environment.
  • February 2009 Aviation fuel and water removed from UST by Coeur D’Alene Service Station Equipment, Inc. Mr. Bybee put the UST into Temporary Out of Use (TOU)
  • May 2008 UST inspection. Site failed due to compliance with tank leak detection requirements The Automatic Tank Gauge for the 12,000 gallon UST was turned off in June 2005 and the tank was not monitored for releases. .
  • August 2005-EPA and Nez Perce Tribe conducted a RCRA inspection and collected surface soil samples (work funded by EPA)
    • Potential land disposal restricted chemicals onsite are: 2,4,5 Trichlorphenol; DDT; Aldrin; Heptachlor; Pentachlorophenol; and Toxaphene; extent of contamination in soil and groundwater are unknown
  • March 1992 – 3 UST’s removed from the site.