Three landfills, stream bed pollution, an old car wash site and a place where oil once leaked have some residents of Silver Spring, Md. bracing for the worse, according to this article.
The areas are all under investigation to determine the types and amounts of contaminants they might contain so that cleanup plans can be established. The sites are part of the Walter Reed Army Hospital, Forest Glen Annex, where waste was accumulated from the 1940s and into the 1970s. The cleanup crew will include the Army, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Maryland Department of the Environment.
The three landfills now sit below a ball field, commissary and research laboratory with suspected contaminants stemming from medical waste, construction debris, incinerator ash, and household and office waste. The site of the petroleum leak is near Brookville Road, where 5,000 gallons was removed in the early 1990s. That spot is currently being monitored to detect ground water contamination.
High levels of lead contamination were first detected in sediment samples from the vehicle wash site in 2001, and polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, were noted at a site between Linden Lane and the Beltway. In 2008, Fort Detrick took control of of the Forest Glen Annex, itself a medical research entity that’s had its own environmental challenges in recent years.