US Military Bases Known To Be Contaminated

The following 59 U.S. military bases were suffering from significant water or soil contamination a year ago, according to the Department of Defense's interpretation of its latest hazardous waste survey. DoD officials say not every base suffering such contamination is on the list, because information was not available for all bases. The list is based on the latest status report for DoD's Installation Restoration Program.

The IRP report contains no explanation of the problems at each base, so we asked each service to provide details. The Army did so. The Navy Chief of Information refused to help us gather the information. Air Force Public Affairs could not provide the information by our deadline, but we will publish it as soon as it becomes available. We gathered information on some of these missing bases from EPA and a DoD report to Congress on "Superfund" sites. LIFE IN THE TIMES cannot vouch for the accuracy or completeness of the information that was provided.
Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD
Essentially every land portion of the Edgewood, MD, area (on which a portion of the base is located) Is contaminated or potentially contaminated. Monitoring in 1977-78 indicated contamination of surface and ground water. Four standby wells were shut down in 1983 due to detected organic compounds. The base's active drinking water supplies come from two off-post sources. Deer Creek and Winters Run, unaffected by contamination on base.

Fort A.P. Hill, VA
There are three problems. A herbicide contaminated the soil near an old pesticide storage building. The soil has been placed in sealed drums. Second, herbicide and dioxin Contaminated soil and debris are stored at a base warehouse in 33-gallon drums inside sealed 55-gallon drums. A study will be done to recommend an environmentally sound method of permanent disposal. Third, the base plans to remove some 70 tons of soil contaminated by DDT. The base water comes from a deep aquifer and is not contaminated, the Army says.

Fort Belvoir, VA
Several contaminants - benzene, trichloroethylene, chloroform, toluene, ethylbenzene, and 1-2-dichloroethane - have seeped from the Building 324 tank farm into an unnamed creek. None of these contaminants was detected in surface water at the installation boundary, and no health hazard is apparent, the Army, says. Post drinking water comes from the Fairfax County Water Authority.

Fort Devens, MA
A sanitary landfill that is a potential source of contamination is being closed. It was used as an open burning site, then for incineration of waste and burial of residues. Water quality meets state standards.

Fort Dix, NJ
Nine potentially contaminated sites are known. One, the sanitary landfill, was placed on the National Priority (Superfund) List due to the presence of organic solvents. However, the Army says no significant health hazards have been identified. To avoid any risk, the landfill may be capped with clean soil and vegetated with grass. The other eight sites were identified only recently. Organic solvents and/or petroleum products were located at an old magazine area, a tank farm, a fire station, the golf course, a motor pool, a firing range, a pesticide storage building, and a National Guard facility. Investigation is under way to determine any problems. The sites to not endanger the base water supply according to the Army.

Fort Lewis, WA
There are two problems: One, is Landfill No. 5. Plans call for a landfill liner and leachate collection to preclude ground water contamination. There are also plans for a refuse-fired incinerator to reduce reliance in the landfill. Also trichloroethylene (TCE) has been found in the ground water beneath the Logistics Center. Post drinking water comes from a spring unrelated to that aquifer.

Fort McClellan, AL
Ten old training areas and three former disposal sites have a slight chance of subsurface contamination from mustard agent and its breakdown products and possible byproducts of chemical agent decontamination. Only very small quantities of agent were used and all sites have been closed, decontaminated and fenced. No evidence of any surface or surface water contamination has been found in the past, the Army says. The post receives its water from the city of Anniston.

Redstone Arsenal, AL
A $30 million cleanup was recently completed by Olin Corp, which made DDT in a leased factory that was closed in 1970 for environmental reasons. Manufacturing waste was contaminating soils and streams. DDT was found in the wildlife food chain but not in potable water supplies inside or outside the base. In addition, the presence of PCBs. heavy metals, while phosphorous and other organic compounds is known or suspected. An investigation is under way to determine if they contaminated the active sanitary landfill, a DDT waste landfill, open burning and detonation grounds, and 22 old disposal sites. Also, a $5 million program is in progress to remove all asbestos from post buildings.

Brunswick NAS, ME

A study is under way to determine contaminants and their migration habits.

Lakehurst Naval Air Engineering Center, NJ
Soil and shallow ground water at the tetraethyl lead disposal site are contaminated, perhaps from aviation fuel. The ground water in some areas is covered with a 6-inch layer of JP-Fuel. Elsewhere, the carcinogen nitronomine may be present. Waste oils, battery acid, and solvents are suspected of having been discharged into some dry wells. The soil stabilization field test received 362 gallons of aniline and 161 of furfural (toxic by ingestion, inhalation, or skin absorption), and ferric choride solution; personnel and animals that come in contact with the soil may be endangered. A landfill received thousands of gallons of hydraulic fluids, five tons of asbestos, and also cutting oils, solvents, sludge. and heavy metals. A site for PCB testing and storage is near the environmentally sensitive Ridgeway Branch. The western portion of the base may be contaminated by ordnance: shells, gas-loaded projectiles, phosgene, phosphorus, mustard agent, explosives, flares, and depth bombs. The shallow aquifer in this area may also be contaminated.

Moffett Field NAS, CA
The major contaminants in the ground water are volatile organic compounds.

Whidbey Island NAS, WA
The ground water could be contaminated. Waste oil, solvents, fuel, and caustic rinse water containing heavy metals have been discharged through the storm sewer system and into Dugella Bay. Waterfowl and fish that feed or live in drainage's may be affected. Subsurface migration at the seaplane base may have affected fish or shellfish in Oak and Crescent Harbors. A backup well at Ault Field is threatened by potential migration of contaminants.

Other Navy bases:
China Lake, CA
Indian Head NOS, MD
Jacksonville NAS, FL
Miramar NAS, CA
Pabmont River NAS, MD
Roosevelt Roads NS, Puerto Rico

Air Force
Castle AFB, CA
On-base drinking water supply has been contaminated with trichloroethylene (TCE). Work is under way to install a new well drawing from a deeper, uncontaminated aquifer.

Dover AFB, DE
Ground on the is contaminated with arsenic and other metals, and a stream on base is contaminated with trichloroethylene (TCE). The base well, however, is free of these contaminants. Remedial action has been under way since 1985.

Griffiss AFB, NY
Phenols, ethyl benzene, and benzene have been detected in ground water on base, and toulene in surface water on base.

Hill AFB, UT
Seepage water near two disposal areas contains toxic organic chemicals, such as trichloroethylene (TCE), 1-2 dichloroethane, and 1,1,1 trichlorethane. None of the affected water is used for human consumption. Remedial action to date includes construction of a slurry wall and landfill covers as well as pumping and treating contaminated ground water.

Mather AFB, CA
Water in 36 homes was affected by trichloroethylene (TCE) contamination of a well on base. A new permanent water supply is to be provided to these homes.

McChord AFB, WA
Various chemicals -- methylene chloride, chloroform, benzene, arsenic, chromium, and mercury -- have been detected in test wells and in surface drainage leaving the base. One site is a liquid waste spill next to the wash rack and industrial waste treatment system. Contracted work for the American Lake Gardens Water Supply Project began in 1985; a contractor installed shallow wells and one deep well.

McClellan AFB, CA
An estimated 160 sites have been identified. Contaminants include organic compounds, such as trichloroethylene (TCE), methylene chloride, and 1-1 dichloreythlene. Wells both on and off base that had contaminants exceeding government standards have been shut down. McClellan is considered a leader in cleanup efforts. Completed projects include alternate water supply for off base residents and a ground water containment system and treatment plant.

Norton AFB, CA
Trichloroethylene (TCE) was detected in concentrations exceeding state drinking water standards. All base wells were contaminated to various degrees with silver and tetrachlorethylene (PCE). Closure of a lagoon and sludge removal was begun several years ago.

Robins AFB, GA
Contaminants include halogenated solvents, heavy metals, pesticides (DDT, chordane, etc.), cyanide, and oil products. The toxic organic compounds trichloroethylene (TCE), and tetrachloroethylene (PCE) have been detected in ground water on base. Ground water is not used as drinking water, but the contaminants could eventually appear in surface water.

Tinker AFB, OK
Some base wells were closed due to contamination from chlorinated solvents. Chlorinated solvents were also detected in the aquifer that is the primary water source in the region. Organic compounds have been detected at all sites, though migration is limited. Remedial action begun in 1984, includes capping landfill No. 6, and stopping leaks from underground storage tanks at the fuel farm.

Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
Fourteen organic compounds, including trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PCE) in relatively high quantities have been found in wells serving the base. Nearly half the 17 wells have been shut down due to contamination or age. An air stripper has been put on two wells to remove the organics, and installation of two other strippers is planned.

Other Air Force bases:

Beale AFB, CA                                        Chanute AFB, IL
Charleston AFB, SC                             Columbus AFB, MS
Edwards AFB, CA                                 England AFB, LA
F.E. Warren AFB, WY                         George AFB, CA
Hanscorn AFB, MA                              Hickam AFB, HI
Kelly AFB, TX                                         Lowery AFB, CO
Luke AFB, AZ                                          Kirtland AFB, NM
Langley AFB, VA                                   MacDill AFB, FL
McGuire AFB, NJ                                   Moody AFB, GA    
Mountain Home AFB, ID                   Otis AG Base, MA
Pope AFB, NC                                          Pease AFB, NH
Plattsburgh AFB, NY                           Reese AFB, TX
Seymour Johnson AFB, NC               Shemya, AL
Travis AFB, CA                                       Vandenburg AFB, CA                                                Wurtsmith AFB, MI

Chemicals Used In Military Operations
During The Vietnam War

General use:
Insecticide, DDT - Pyrethrum aerosol, G-1152, 12-oz, can.*
Insecticide, Dichlorvos, 20% impregnated strips
Insecticide, Lindane, 1% dusting powder, 2-oz. can**
Insecticide, Pyrethrum, 0.6% aerosol, 12-oz. can
Insecticide, Pyrethrum, 0.4% solution, 1-gal. can
Repellent, Clothing and personal application, m 75% DEET,
         6-oz. (aerosol can)
Repellent, Clothing and personal application, m 75% DEET, 
         2-oz. (plastic bottle)
Repellent, Clothing and personal application, m 75% DEET,
        ½-oz. (bottle, component of survival kit)
Rodenticide, Anticoagulant, Ready mixed bait, 5-lb can
Rodenticide, bait block, diphacin, 8-oz. block

Supervision Required:
Insecticide, Aluminum phosphide, tablets, can
Insecticide, Aluminum phosphide, pellets, flask
Insecticide, Baygon, 1% solution, 1-gal. can
Insecticide, Baygon, 2% bait, 5-lb. bottle
Insecticide, Carbaryl, 80% powder, 15-lb. pail
Insecticide, Carbaryl-DDT, Micronized dust, 1-gram***
Insecticide, Carbaryl-DDT, Micronized dust, 5-gram***
Insecticide, Carbaryl-DDT, Micronized dust, 13-gram***
Insecticide, Chlordane, 72% emulsifiable concentrate, 5-gal. pail
Insecticide, Chlordane, 5%-6% dust, 25-lb. pail
Insecticide, Diazinon, 0.5% solution, 1-gal. can
Insecticide, Diazinon, 48% emulsifiable concentrate, 1-gal. can
Insecticide, Dieldrin, 15% emulsifiable concentrate, 5-gal. pail
Insecticide, DDT, 25% emulsifiable concentrate, 5-gal. pail
For disinsectization of aircraft in compliance with Public Health Quarantine.
* For use in control of body lice.
** For disinsectization of aircraft in compliance with Agricultural     Quarantine.

Insecticide, DDT, 75% wettable powder, 20-lb. pail
Insecticide, Dichlorvos, 20% impregnated pellets, 30-lb. pail
Insecticide, Dursban, 40.8% emulsifiable concentrate
Insecticide, Lindane, 12% emulsifiable concentrate, 5-gal. pail
Insecticide, Lindane, 1% dusting powder, 25-lb. pail
Insecticide, Malathion, 57% emulsifiable concentrate, Grade A,
             (1-gal. can)
Insecticide, Malathion, 57% emulsifiable concentrate, Grade B,
             (55-gal. drum)
Insecticide, Malathion, 57% emulsifiable concentrate, Grade A,
            (5-gal. pail)
Insecticide, Malathion, 95% solution concentrate 55-gal. Drum
Insecticide, Methyl bromide, 98%, 150-lb. cylinder
Insecticide, Methyl bromide, 98%, 1-lb. can
Insecticide, Naled, 85% solution concentrate, 15-gal. drum

Repellent, Clothing application, M-1960, 1-gal. can
Repellent, Clothing application, 90% Benzyl benzoate, 1-gal. can
Rodenticide, Anticoagulant, Universal concentrate, 1-lb. can
Rodenticide, Calcium cyanide, 42% powder, 1-lb. can
Rodenticide, Zinc phosphide, 80% powder, 1-oz. bottle
Fungicide, Pentachlorophenol, 5% moisture retardant, 55-gal. drum
Soil fumigant, SMDC (VAPAM) 32.7% solution
Herbicide, Borate-Bromacil mixture, 50-lb. bag
Herbicide, Bromacil, 80% powder, 50-lb. drum
Herbicide, Chlorate-Borate mixture, 50-lb. bag
Herbicide, Dacthal, 75% powder, 50-lb bag
Herbicide, Dalapon, 85% powder, 50-lb. drum
Herbicide, Dicamba, 49% solution, 1-gal. bottle
Herbicide, Diquat, 35.3% solution, 5-gal. drum
Herbicide, Diuron, 80% powder, 50-lb. drum
Herbicide, DSMA, 63% disodium methylarsonate, 100-lb. drum
Herbicide, Monuron, 80% powder, 50-lb. drum
Herbicide, Picloram + 2,4-D, 5-gal. drum
Herbicide, Picloram, 11.6% pellets, 50-lb. drum
Herbicide, Silvex, Low Volatile Ester, 4-lb/gal., 5-gal. drum
Herbicide, Simazinc, 80% powder, 5-lb. can
Herbicide, 2,4-D, Low Volatile Ester, 4-lb/gal., 5-gal. can
Herbicide, 2,4-D, Amine, 4-lb/gal., 5-gal. can
Herbicide, 2,4,5-T, Low Volatile Ester, 4-lb/gal., 55-gal. drum
Herbicide, 2,4,5-T, Low Volatile Ester, 4-lb/gal., 5-gal. pail

Herbicide, Cacodylic Acid (Blue), 55-gal. drum
Herbicide, Picloram + 2,4-D, (White), 55-gal. drum
Herbicide, 2,4-D + 2,4,5-T, High Volatile ester (Orange), 55-gal. drum
Chemicals Used & Where They've Been Found
**Please note this is an ongoing & seemingly endless mission!**
Why me?   What is this stuff?   What can I do about it?
Will I be compensated for it?
How does it affect my children?
Does anyone else have it?   "Does anyone care?"
Perhaps this last question is the most important.
Does any of these places look familiar?
Where were  you?
I Corps - 2,355,322

Location                                Orange         White                Blue           Total Gallons

A Shau                                               53,550               2,550               6,128                      62,228
An Hoa                                                 6,500               1,800             11,250                      19,550
Binh Hoa                                             8,220                               0               1,600                        9,820
Cam Lo                                              80,375               8,660             12,785                    101,820
Camp Carrol                                    78,200               5,400                      5,050                       88,650
Camp Eagle                                     14,250                              0                       0                      14,250
Camp Esso                                      53,410               5,600                       0                      64,510
Camp Evans                                    18,690                              0                   880                      19,570
Camp Henderson                           68,155               7,040               4,800                      79,995
Chu Lai                                              12,170               4,150               1,598                      17,918
Con Thien                                         84,700             12,460                    10,925                    108,085
Da Nang, China Beach                  13,800                       0               2,000                      15,800
Dong Ha                                            54,385               5,060               9,935                      69,380
Duc Pho, LZ Bronco                      46,225             14,400               1,175                      61,800
Firebase Jack                                140,875             11,900               3,280                    156,055
Firebase Rakkassan                    150,145             23,900               2,510                    176,555
Firebase West                                  15,405               3,690             18,480                      37,575
Hill 63                                                 20,500               3,200                       0                      23,700
Hill 69                                                 11,620               4,150               1,598                      17,368
Hoi An                                                17,520               3,000             13,950                     34,470
Hue                                                     41,395                       0               5,070                     46,465
Khe Sanh, Firebase Smith           43,705                3,040               4,300                     51,045
LangCo Bridge                                50,610               5,600               3,500                     59,710
LZ Baldy                                            15,430              3 ,000              13,950                    32,380
LZ Dogpatch, Hill 327                       4,490                      0                8,250                     12,740
LZ Geronimo                                    22,535            14,000                    468                     37,003
LZ Jane, Firebase Barbara           91,150              6,750                 3,700                  101,600
LZ Langley, Firebase Shepard    72,105              7,040                 4,800                     83,945
LZ Profess, Hill 55                           39,300            13,000              17,209                    69,509
LZ Rockcrusher, Hill 85                 47,800                      0                        0                     47,800
LZ Rockpile                                    110,050            15,440                 7,650                  133,140
LZ Ross                                              15,405             6,720                18,508                   40,633
LZ Sandra                                        118,780           20,210                24,755                 163,745
LZ Snapper, Firebase Leather      11,350                     0                  3,000                   14,350
Marble, Hill 59                                    15,405             6,720                18,508                   40,633
Phu Bai                                               54,300             3,000                      120                   57,420
Phu Luc, LZ Tommahawk              78,250             4,000                          0                   82,250
Quang Nai                                          25,605                     0                  1,800                   27,405
Quang Tri, LZ Nancy                       68,000             2,750                   3,700                   74,450

II Corps - 1,054,406

Location                                Orange        White              Blue       Total Gallons

An Khe, Camp Radcliff                  37,810             6,400                   5,610                     49,820
An Lao, LZ Laramie                         68,970                490                  10,570                    80,030
Ban Me Thuot                                   16,000             9,250                            0                    25,250
Ben Het                                              80,495             7,230                    3,000                    90,725
Bon Song, LZ Two Bits                  80,643                630                   6,000                     87,273
Bre Nhi                                                 6,600                     0                           0                       6,600
Cam Ranh Bay                                 21,227             1,373                           0                     22,600
Camp Granite                                   59,310              2,075                   5,390                     66,775
Che Oreo                                                     0              1,800                           0                       1,800
Da Lat                                                      575                      0                           0                          575
Dak To                                                49,460                600                  34,800                    84,860
Firebase Pony                                  43,490                     0                    3,800                    47,290
Kontum                                                        0                 415                           0                          415
LZ Dog, LZ English                         63,073                 630                    6,000                    69,703
LZ OasisNo Data
LZ Putter, Firebase Bird                50,095                      0                    7,200                    57,295
LZ Uplift                                             43,455              3,220                       275                     46,950
Nha Trang                                           6,950                 325                            0                       7,275
Phan Rang                                             110              2,075                            0                       2,185
Phan Thiet                                           5,000                 330                       220                       5,550
Plei Ho, SF Camp                            15,300              1,260                       110                     16,670
Plei Jerang                                        98,220            51,235                   1,800                   151,255
Pleiku                                                    1,210            11,640                   1,950                     14,800
Puh Cat, LZ Hammond                   29,700              7,210                           0                     36,910
Qui Nhon                                            53,215              1,800                   4,125                     59,140
Song Cau                                             5,650                   55                            0                       5,705
Tuy An                                                13,215              3,740                            0                    16,955
Tuy Hoa                                             29,565              4,485                            0                     34,050

III Corps - 4,086,229

Location                                Orange        White               Blue         Total Gallons

An Loc                                                77,000            79,830                           0                    156,830
Ben Cat                                              87,250            83,640                 20,105                    190,995
Ben Hoa                                             35,045          124,525                   3,950                    163,520
Cholon                                                     320                      0                           0                            320
Cu Chi                                                59,150             67,540                14,105                     140,795
Dau Tieng (Michelin)                      32,370             45,800                   3,800                       81,770
Dien Duc, Firebase Elaine            66,850             25,800                           0                       92,350
Duc Hoa                                                  750                       0                           0                            750
Firebase Di An                                    6,000                      0                   1,595                          7,595
Firebase Frenzel                              13,445            57,560                      900                        71,905
Firebase Jewel, LZ Snuffy          219,550           146,010                  7,300                      372,860
Firebase Mace                                  34,280            23,350                      730                        58,360
Katum                                               299,420          239,395                20,000                      558,815
Lai Khe                                               57,120            22,300                   1,800                        81,220
Loc Ninh                                            46,660          103,710                   1,800                      152,170
Long Binh, Firebase Concord     13,445            57,560                           0                        71,005
LZ Bearcat                                         17,840            75,470                           0                        93,310
LZ Fish Nook                                    44,000            23,800                           0                        67,800
LZ Schofield                                     38,640             17,210                   7,800                        63,650
Nha Be (Navy Base)                     119,725          121,925                   6,000                      247,650
Nui Ba Den, Firebase Carolin      50,020             66,500                   2,100                      118,620
Phouc Vinh                                    484,383           146,576                 12,810                      643,769
Phu Chong                                       39,848             62,230                 12,055                      114,130
Phu Loi                                              79,000             83,430                           0                      162,430
Qua Viet                                             50,610               5,600                   3,500                        59,710
Quan Loi                                            44,190             34,300                          0                        78,490
SaigonNo Data
Song Be                                              1,900               9,220                           0                        11,120
Tan Son Nhut                                    6,320                       0                   1,595                          7,915
Tay Ninh                                                720                3,225                      600                          4,545
Trang Bang                                      32,365             39,560                  6,000                        77,925
Vo Dat, Firebase Nancy                14,180             29,100                          0                        43,280
Vung Tau                                            7,350                       0                          0                           7,350
Xuan Loc                                          23,865             58,750                      660                        83,275

IV Corps - 669,534

Location                                Orange        White               Blue        Total Gallons

Ben Luc                                             45,900            14,838                           0                        60,738
Ben Tre                                              24,800            24,750                           0                        49,550
Can Tho                                             15,160            13,915                 11,685                       40,760
Cao Lanh                                             1,875              2,935                       830                         5,640
Dong Tam                                            5,870                 605                       165                         6,640
Firebase Grand Can(yon?)                     0              1,540                           0                          1,540
Firebase Moore                                  9,820                      0                           0                          9,820
Ham Long                                            3,275              1,620                           0                          4,895
Moc Hoa                                             12,400              6,590                           0                       18,990
My Tho                                               13,320               7,316                      965                        21,601
Nam Can                                          150,345            64,295                          0                      214,640
Phnom                                                          0                 184                           0                             184
Phu Quoc                                          19,000                       0                          0                        19,000
Rach Gia                                                      0               2,155                          0                          2,155
Seafloat                                                4,700                      0                           0                          4,700
Soc Trang                                            3,410              2,391                   1,280                           7,081
Tan An                                                89,550            36,450                          0                       126,000
Tieu Con                                              8,700                      0                           0                           8,700
Tra Vinh                                                9,885             8,000                           0                         17,885
Vinh Loi                                              30,010                     0                           0                         30,010
Vinh Long                                            8,360              9,755                      890                         19,005

Note: This does NOT include US Army helicopter or ground applications, or any form of the insecticide programs by GVN, or the US military. The amount represents gallons within eight (8) kilometers of the area. Thus, each area is 9.6 miles in diameter.
DescriptionTCDD (Dioxin) Amounts
Agent Orange1.77 to 40 ppm
Agent Blue (Purple)32.8 to 45 ppm
Agent Red (Pink)65.6 ppm
Agent White (Green)65.6 ppm
Silvex1 to 70 ppm
2,4,5-T (Current)0.1 ppm or less

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