2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 30 Oct 2003 20:53:25 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Residents question Army Corps about old shells in Butner
North Carolina
Residents question Army Corps about old shells in Butner
By Hunter Lewis, hlewis@heraldsun.com
Oct 29, 2003 : 11:21 pm ET

BUTNER -- In the 1940s, U.S. soldiers fired thousands of shells at
munitions ranges in southern Granville and Person counties. Wednesday
night, residents living both near and on those old ranges fired a few
salvos of their own.

Why aren't local officials doing more to stop development in the areas
contaminated with old shells, they asked. How long before the water
supply is tested for hazardous or toxic waste, they wondered. What's the
best way to stop trespassers from looking and digging for old shells?

Officials from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is overseeing the
clean-up effort, had few definitive answers for the 15 residents at the
meeting. Town officials were invited, but none attended.

"What do you do if local officials turn a blind eye?" asked Kimberly
Cash, a Durham police officer whose property in southern Granville
County was riddled with live and exploded shells. Cash and her family
moved out of their home after finding the shells, but they are still
paying their mortgage. They currently are renting a home.

As the issue of land contamination grows, so too does the number of new
homes in the rural area near the old U.S. Army base. Residents with old
shells in their yards say local officials and developers won't
acknowledge the explosives for fear of driving down property values and
hurting the county's tax base.

Don Moore, who lives in the same subdivision as Cash, said the push and
pull between alerting the public and driving away tax dollars has
created a Catch-22.

Moore called the explosives that have been found "the tip of the

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