Fort Jackson neighbors still concerned about contamination - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Fort Jackson neighbors still concerned about possible water contamination

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RICHLAND COUNTY, SC (WIS) -

The Army is now testing well water in neighborhoods south of Fort Jackson as part of a program designed to make sure groundwater has not been contaminated with a substances released by explosives.

The testing program is being carries out nationwide and it has found some of that material on Fort Jackson property.

The Amry's operational range assessment program has shown extremely small amounts of the material called RDX which may be a carcinogen.

There are no studies showing cancer in those who've been exposed to RDX but residents who live near the post still are worried about possible exposure.

Carol Roberts is devoted to the goats and geese and other living things she's been raising at her home in rural Richland County south of Fort Jackson.

She and her husband are transplants from Colorado who came to the Palmetto State to re-start their lives eight years ago.

Things seemed to be going fine until last month when the water she and her neighbors depend on became a target for testing.

Now they're a little worried about that testing because she says it's being done at the request of federal authorities.

Specifically the Army.

"I don't trust them to be forthcoming with the results," Roberts said. "If it's a negative result. If it comes back that the levels are higher ...That it's a bad test, it's bad. So I don't trust them to be forthcoming with that information. I think they would try to shove it under the rug."

Last month, Army leaders said they wanted permission from homeowners to test groundwater in about two dozen locations just off the southern edge of the training post.

The Army trying to determine whether traces of a material called RDX had migrated off the property and into neighborhoods.

RDX is a compound released when hand grenades are detonated.

Soldiers on post toss roughly a hundred thousand of them annually. And extremely small amounts of RDX have been found in test well on post property.

Roberts' well was tested this week. The results aren't in yet, but she wants to make sure they are turned over to homeowners if the tests turn out positive.

She's also looking to the future.

"I'm not that concerned about right now," Roberts said. "I'm concerned about ten years from now. Because they're not going to stop their behavior which is causing this issue… the number one base in the country that trains civilians to be soldiers. That's not going to happen."

Post spokesman Pat Jones told WIS this afternoon the Army has every intention of sharing the test results with homeowners whether those results are good or bad.

But he added amounts of RDX found on the Fort Jackson range so far are well below EPA health advisory levels.

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