Fort Detrick is investigating locations scattered through its main post for remnants of Agent Orange and radioactive waste in addition to ongoing toxin testing near Area B.
Joseph Gortva, manager of the Fort Detrick Environmental Restoration Program, presented the information to the Restoration Advisory Board on Wednesday evening as part of his division’s planned activities for fiscal 2016. The board serves as a forum to keep the community, government agencies and Fort Detrick officials informed of all cleanup activities on post.MORE
The Army’s current investigation into herbicide-related toxins and radioactivity started with a review of archival records pertaining to the post’s history of biological warfare research and possible releases of waste into the environment. The review was completed in 2014.
The Army is now working with contractors to look at sites on the main post and on Rosemont Avenue where Agent Orange and other herbicides were stored or used, and 18 sites on post where radioactive materials were used.
The 18 sites are mainly concentrated near buildings along Miller Drive, Chandler Street and Sultan Street on post, around the National Cancer Institute’s office buildings.
There is a “low likelihood” of finding residual herbicides or radioactive byproducts, according to Gortva, but the Army’s contractors will perform soil and gamma ray testing to confirm that.
The Army is also looking at 11 former incinerator locations on the main post that may have deposited metals and left-behind petroleum products, among other chemicals, in soil and groundwater. Those sites are also near NCI property on the post.