Fort Detrick Water Contamination Continues to Concern Locals

- FREDERICK, Md. - For years, residents living near Fort Detrick's Area B have felt uncertain about the quality of their water.

"They're doing a very poor job of trying to camouflage it," said a Frederick man who asked to remain anonymous.

The issue, dating back more than four decades, centers around the contaminants now known to infest Fort Detrick's Area B ground water. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the contaminants have been detected in a residential well near the post, leaving room for doubt among residents along Kemp Lane.

"They don't tell us not to drink our faucet water, but if it was clean enough to drink why are they still bringing us bottled water?" said the Frederick man, who has lived along Kemp Lane for 22 years.

"I don't see how they could clean it, it's so far down, its been there so long, I think it's impossible to clean up," he added.

In a statement, representatives with Fort Detrick explained they are working with federal and state regulators from the EPA on restoration efforts. Wednesday, a contractor with the post announced they would begin digging shallower wells to examine the contaminants' migration but community members believe these efforts are not enough.

"The solution remains to be seen but the pace in which we are approaching that solution is at a snail's pace," said Barry Kissin, community member with the Fort Detrick Restoration Advisory Board.

Representatives with Fort Detrick said they are working towards finishing a remedial investigative report which would include a risk assessment. In the mean time community members must wait.

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