Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Chemical found in Fort Jackson groundwater

— Traces of a caustic pollutant associated with military ammunition have turned up in groundwater at the edge of Fort Jackson, and base officials plan to test private wells nearby to see whether they are contaminated.

The base’s public announcement Thursday of the groundwater pollution sparked questions about when well owners were notified of the potential threat to an area where some residents still rely on wells for drinking water.
Base officials said they found traces of the pollutant in “recent’’ tests at the fort’s southern boundary and the McCrady Training Center, but the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control released a letter saying the military may have known about the contamination for more than a year before telling the agency.
The material, known as Royal Demolition Explosive, or RDX, is a man-made compound that can cause seizures in people who swallow substantial quantities, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It has been tied to cancer in laboratory animals and is considered a possible human carcinogen.
In an Oct. 25 letter to Fort Jackson’s public works department, DHEC director Catherine Templeton said the department should have been told of the contamination soon after the military learned about it in the summer of 2012. Last month’s letter told the fort to begin testing any wells downhill from the contaminated area.
“It is our belief that you have known about this exceedance since July 2012 and failed to notify the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) of the potential area of concern within 15 days required by your (hazardous materials) permit,’’ Templeton’s letter said.
Templeton said her agency planned to meet with the Department of the Army to discuss a long-term plan to address the RDX pollution and “other issues discovered today.’’ Details of the scheduled meeting were not available.
An attempt to reach Fort Jackson spokesman Patrick Jones was unsuccessful Thursday afternoon, but base officials said in a news release that the amounts found in groundwater were below health advisory levels established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/2013/11/14/3098283/chemical-found-in-fort-jackson.html#storylink=cpy
READ MORE: http://www.thestate.com/2013/11/14/3098283/chemical-found-in-fort-jackson.html

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