Monday, July 9, 2018

Guam senator: GAO can't find some Agent Orange shipping records

The investigative arm of Congress hasn't located about a quarter of shipping records it needs to help confirm the shipping to and through Guam of the hazardous defoliant Agent Orange, according to Vice Speaker Therese Terlaje.
Terlaje said the U.S. Government Accountability Office expects to issue its investigation report on Agent Orange on Guam in early autumn, based on communication from GAO Director Brian Lepore.
The senator said the Government Accountability Office still is working with archivists around the U.S. to try and locate the remaining records and expects to finish soon. The records include possible ports of embarkation from the mainland U.S. and locations to or through which Agent Orange was shipped, Terlaje said.
The Government Accountability Office's inability to obtain additional shipping records is concerning, Terlaje said in a July 5 letter to Guam Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Walter Leon Guerrero.
The senator said this also emphasizes the importance of proper and direct testing, on and off base, to validate that Agent Orange was used on Guam.
"To that end, please provide our office with a list of all documents or test results in your possession or that should be reviewed that may indicate the presence of TCDD or its parts or polychlorinated dibenzo-P-dioxins in water on land in Guam," Terlaje wrote. "Also, please share with us which additional areas GEPA would recommend testing be done.

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