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Redstone Arsenal continues work on chemical cleanup project, confirmed neighbors are safe

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. – While Redstone Arsenal works through their environmental clean up efforts, they are working to keep the community updated on the project’s progress.

Environmental restoration crews are working diligently to dig up some soil and ground water for the installation’s environmental clean up.

“We’ve got a little bit of everything out here, some pesticides,” Terry Delapaz, Chief of the Installation Restoration Branch, said.

Our crews saw one of the sites on Thursday. It was a former German POW camp from World War II. To look at it, a passerby would never know anything was buried below the fields. That’s why the testers rely so heavily on historical data for the clean-up.

“You have to start there because if you don’t even know where to look, then you’re lost,” Delapaz said.

For this site, they’re cleaning up the remnants of ‘goop.’

“It’s like a napalm kind of petroleum-type of material used for chemical weapons that would have been used back in the Korean War,” Delapaz said.

Workers are cleaning up these disposal areas that date back to World War II, and the 50s and 60s, to prevent any threat to our ground water.

“What we are doing now is doing an investigation to see what our problem is so that we can go and remove that waste that’s a potential source to ground water,” Jason Watson, Environmental Protection Specialist, said.

Fortunately, project leaders say people living just outside the clean up site, near the southeastern side of Redstone, don’t need to worry.

“It’s hugging the eastern boundary so it’s not moving into the neighborhoods,” Watson said. “It took us a while to figure that out.”

By the numbers:

  • 80 sites are under investigation now.
  • They’re currently working on clean up plans for 31 sites
  • Crews are cleaning up 13 sites
  • 17 sites are under investigation for chemicals
  • Of more than 300 sites they’re working on, only 17 have buried chemicals
  • 6 sites are finished and they are simply monitoring.