Arsenic, other toxic chemicals found beneath Army site

Jamie Forzato, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – Contractors have discovered dangerous chemicals spreading underneath a local military installation site.

The Army does not know where the contaminants are coming from, but they now know what the chemicals are. A new report found that a landfill site beneath the Forest Glen Annex in Silver Spring has high levels of Tetrachloroethylene, a substance commonly used for dry cleaning.

Contractors believe the source of the leak originated outside of the annex boundaries. Unless the Army can get permission to test the groundwater on private or commercial property, the Gazette reports the source is likely to remain a mystery.

The EPA says no amount of the chemical is safe in drinking water. There are no drinking water wells within a half mile of the area.

Chloroform was found in another underground landfill near the National Museum of Health and Medicine. The Gazette reports it could have come from a broken water pipe. Contractors also reported high levels of arsenic and lead.

The Gazette reports that the state and the Army will go through an evaluation process to find the best solution.

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