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EPA Partners with Academy of Model Aeronautics to Provide New Opportunities for Superfund Sites

At Pepe Field in Boonton, NJ, Little Leaguers shag fly balls where underground waste once polluted soil and ground water.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a new partner willing to support communities interested in flying model airplanes. On February 10, 2005, Joseph Beshar, a representative for the Academy of Model Aeronautics, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Michael Cook, the Director of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation. The Academy's member clubs will offer services at no cost to interested Superfund communities, such as mowing and maintaining the landscape surfaces and fences on the parts of Superfund sites that the Academy is using. EPA will provide publicly available information to the Academy about which Superfund sites have the physical characteristics that the Academy finds suitable for aeromodeling. EPA will also provide appropriate contact information for EPA, State, and local representatives for the sites.

This new partnership will benefit communities interested in offering model airplane activities and will support the Academy's mission of making aeromodeling the foremost hobby in the world through promotion, development, education about, and general advancement of modeling activities. The Academy asserts that Model Aviation is educational and career building and serves an alternative to other less beneficial activities practiced by today's youth. There are no physical barriers to aeromodeling – it is open to people of all ages, from juniors to senior citizens. In appropriate instances, Superfund sites may offer land for new recreational opportunities in communities at a time when open space is becoming harder to come by. The notion of using formerly contaminated waste sites does not trouble the Academy of Model Aeronautics – in the Academy's own words, "it's not the ground below, but the sky above."

Academy of Model Aeronautics Questions and Answers (PDF) (2 pp, 40K, About PDF)