2000 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 12:31:23 -0800 (PST)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] EPA and Army to Remove Buried Munitions from Former Military Depot


US EPA Region 3 Press Release
For Immediate Release: January 6, 2000

EPA and Army to Remove Buried Munitions from Former Military Depot - 2,000
at Nearby College to be Protected

Ruth Podems, (215) 814-5540

Portsmouth, Va. - To protect more than 2,000 Tidewater Community College
students and faculty nearby, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and
U.S. Army will begin removing buried munitions at the former Nansemond
Ordnance Depot here.

The buried munitions pose no immediate threat to the community if left in
place and undisturbed. However, if future use of the property should
disturb them, they could explode. Therefore, as a preventive measure, it is
necessary to remove them.

The college, currently in session, operates on the northern-most area of
this former military depot. Community members also use this site for
recreational activities. Students, faculty and community members can
continue their everyday activities without risk during the removal process.

>From 1917 to 1960, the Defense Department used this site to assemble, store
and destroy military munitions and weaponry. Since 1960, Nansemond has been
owned by various private and public entities.

In 1988, soils and groundwater were found to be contaminated with lead and
TNT. Over the past 12 years, buried munitions have also been discovered on
college property.

EPA placed the former ordnance depot on its Superfund National Priorities
List of most hazardous waste sites in 1999. Sites placed on the NPL are
eligible for long-term EPA cleanup.

The current investigation and removal of buried munitions is one of the
first steps EPA and the Army are taking to clean the site. EPA is also
overseeing the Army's work plan that outlines extensive soil and
groundwater cleanup in various areas including the Horseshoe Pond. 

Cleanup of the James River beach front area on the site is scheduled to
begin this spring.

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