2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 14 Jul 2003 15:13:12 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Empty Bottles on APG Riverbank Result in Response Action
Empty Bottles on APG Riverbank Result in Response Action
By Robert DiMichele
USAEC Public Affairs Officer

It was a “whimsical” discovery by Jason Ebright. But it turned out to be
an important one.

Heading down to the bank of King’s Creek along the Edgewood Area of
Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., Ebright, an environmental contractor for
the post, came across a number of empty bottles along the shoreline.

Right then, on that mid-April morning, he said that he knew this was an
important find. Ebright was in the area to start a toxicity evaluation.
Mercury and arsenic had contaminated the sediments of the creek, a
tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. Checking the nearby area for a source
of the bottles, he noticed the ground had been undercut by erosion along
the bank. There, he found more bottles in crates buried but partially
exposed by the erosion.

“Whimsical” was how Ebright described his surprise find. “I thought
right then that I had come across the source of the contamination,” he

The bottles along the shoreline were all empty. The ones still buried
were all full.

In fact, there turned out to be many varieties of bottles, neatly
stacked, packed and intact in the crates. These were clearly part of a
burial pit, according to Ebright.

Don Green, an environmental project manager for Aberdeen Proving Ground,
began a time-critical removal action when he learned about the find. He
knew that part of Edgewood Arsenal had been an open burning and open
detonation site as well as a range area for the Army’s chemical program
as early as the 1920s. Green had contractors remove all of the visible
bottles and stabilize 360 feet of shoreline with sand and pea gravel as
a temporary measure to eliminate the threat of erosion exposing more

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