April 2, 1998
State News
  Contract let to clean up White Alice site
By Erin Lillie

    A subsidiary of the Bering Strait Native Corporation won a $1 million contract to tear down the ruins of the White Alice Communications Site atop Anvil Mountain, the Air Force announced recently. 
    Built in the Cold War 1950s, the White Alice site was one link in a chain across Alaska and Canada designed to detect incoming airplanes or missiles from the former Soviet Union. The site also provided long-distance telephone communications for Nome before satellites made the site obsolete. 
    The landmark towers will remain standing, but the Bering Strait Development Corporation is slated to remove everything else starting June 1. The "Operation Clean Sweep" contract between the Air Force and the BSDC was signed Tues., March 31. 
    Lt. Col. David T. Peters, commander of the 611th Civil Engineer Squadron at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, said in a prepared statement that Air Force policy is to use local companies and people whenever possible. 
    "We are very happy that we have been able to award the contract to Bering Strait Development Corporation," Peters said. "I am especially pleased that they are headquartered in Nome, close to where the work will be accomplished, and so well represent the people of that area."  
     Vern Olsen, Executive Vice President of BSDC, said he expects the project to be finished this year. Olsen said he hopes to hire about 10 to 12 local workers for the clean-up. The project is a milestone for Native corporations and the Air Force. 
    "This is a first," Olsen said. 
    Bristol Environmental Services Corp., owned by Bristol Bay Native Corp., Native-owned Pacific Native Development Corp., and Anchorage Enterprises are also working on the Anvil Mountain project.  
    The project includes: Cleaning soil containing diesel fuel; removing concrete that contains the cancer-causing toxin PCB; removing asbestos, another carcinogen, and lead from building materials; and tearing down and removing the radar operations and vehicle maintenance buildings. 
    The four, 60-foot tall black towers will stay. The Air Force was ready to tear them down, too, but the City of Nome requested that the important landmarks remain standing.  
    Anything worth saving from the site will be declared "excess" and  be either auctioned off or given away, according to the Air Force. 


PO Box 610  Nome, Alaska 99762  (907)443-5235 
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