Private Wells near Radford Arsenal
1:43 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Residents Request Water Tests

A community group is calling for water testing of private wells near the Radford Army Ammunitions Plant.        

The Environmental Patriots of the New River Valley is circulating a petition asking the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry to pay for testing of private wells around the Radford Arsenal.  An investigation into whether contaminants from the arsenal have infiltrated ground water near there will not be complete until next year.  But the group says people living near the ammunition plant can’t wait that long to find out if well water is contaminated. 

Devawn Oberlander heads the group making a public appeal in an effort to get the agency to test the wells.

“Because what’s happening her is a failure of federal agencies to exercise oversight, so the oversight that should be exercised by the EPA is not happening.  And that is under the purview of our congress," says Oberlander.

She says the petition asking for the water tests of private wells near the arsenal will also go to Virginia’s elected officials. 

The petition will ask specifically for tests on Perchlorate and DNT levels in private wells near the Radford arsenal. Perchlorate is both a naturally occurring and manufactured chemical used to produce rocket fuel. 

It can also be present in bleach and in some fertilizers. Research shows in high concentrations, it can disrupt the thyroid’s ability to produce hormones needed for normal growth and development.  DNT is used in the process of making explosives.  It is a toxin and a known carcinogen.

Robbie Harris reports from the New River Valley.