2011 CPEO Military List Archive

From: "Laura Olah" <cswab@merr.com>
Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2011 13:59:36 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] CSWAB Gains Better Soil Testing for Explosives
CSWAB Gains Better Soil Testing for Explosives

State regulators have ordered the U.S. Army to improve soil test methods for
a carcinogenic explosive that has contaminated groundwater and drinking
water wells in rural communities near Badger Army Ammunition Plant.   The
precedent-setting decision by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
(WDNR) is expected to prompt similar requirements at other military bases
where dinitrotoluene (DNT) contamination has been found. 

For decades, the military has routinely limited soil testing at Badger and
other Department of Defense sites to only two of the six known isomers
(forms) of DNT.  Environmental testing at Badger will now include four
additional forms of DNT which state health officials said are ?as toxic or
more toxic? than those currently monitored by the Army.

DNT can affect the blood, nervous system, liver, kidneys, and male
reproductive system in both humans and animals, and is a suspected human
carcinogen. Once in the environment, DNT can be transferred to plants via
root uptake from soil or irrigation with contaminated water.  Soil
contaminants may also be carried to aquatic environments and wetlands
through storm water run-off, erosion and through the air as fugitive dust.

The WDNR?s decision follows a formal petition last month from Citizens for
Safe Water Around Badger (CSWAB) asking that 2,3-DNT, 3,4-DNT 3,5-DNT and
2,5-DNT be added to soil testing and cleanup requirements at Badger.  The
state?s September 15 letter to the U.S. Army requires the military to
include these forms of DNT in all future soil testing where it is a
contaminant of concern and to establish appropriate soil remediation goals
for all forms of the explosive compound.  

?This additional testing requirement will aid in the evaluation of potential
direct contact risks (to humans) and possible sources for leaching of DNT to
groundwater, and will test the idea that the ratios of DNT isomers in soil
at the facility approximate those found in technical grade DNT,? the WDNR
CSWAB first petitioned for regulation of DNT in 2006 when it became evident
that adequate cleanup of Badger Army Ammunition Plant and other contaminated
military sites would only be achieved with enforceable standards.  

On January 1, the State of Wisconsin adopted groundwater standards for all
six isomers of DNT.  The new health-based standard, measured as the summed
total concentration of all DNT isomers, is 0.05 micrograms per liter (parts
per billion). Wisconsin is the first and only state to regulate all six
forms of DNT in groundwater.  

*   *   *
Laura Olah, Executive Director
Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger (CSWAB)
E12629 Weigand's Bay South
Merrimac, WI  53561
(608) 643-3124

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