Preparations begin for building test sampling

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. – Since 1917 when the U.S. government acquired what is now known as Aberdeen Proving Ground, APG South (Edgewood) has been tied to the research of chemical and biological agents.

Over the next several months, APG personnel, along with the Huntsville U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, will conduct building characterizations— or the identification of possible contamination left from past practices— throughout many of the sites that housed this important research. According to APG Garrison Environmental Engineer, this process will help the installation determine the best way to safely demolish these buildings to allow for new development in the future.

Pre-operational exercise

However, before that characterization process can take place, Loder said a pre-operational exercise will start next week. He said this exercise will let the characterization team practice the process of safely entering and exiting these buildings after taking possible chemical samples. This exercise, which will involve workers training in personal protective equipment, commonly called Hazmat suits, will be conducted near the Wise Road gate on APG South, and should not be cause for alarm.

Many buildings and labs throughout the E3200 and the E3200 block are currently slated for demolition once the process of identifying what chemical, biological, radiological, or Other Related Materials (ORM), such as asbestos, are present. Actual field testing will be taking place sometime in early 2017.

An Environmental Assessment is available online at www.apg.army.mil/InstallationPolicies under “Public Notice.” The assessment is open to public review for 30 days.

Story by Lauren Finnegan, APG News