Pinecastle Jeep Range Formerly Used Defense Site
Responses to statements in the article:
Pinecastle Jeep Range Formerly Used Defense Site: Army Corps to unearth old military bombs in Lee Vista
July 10, 2013 WFTV-TV – Orlando
Quote: “The Army Corps of Engineers is planning major digs at residential communities and an Orlando middle school this summer.”
Fact: This summer, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is implementing the approved recommendations resulting from its previous investigations. The Corps follows a thorough process prescribed by law, which requires investigating, studying alternatives, preparing a Proposed Plan that evaluates and recommends alternatives, consulting with state and local agencies and producing a signed Decision Document. During this process, should a potential imminent risk to human safety or the environment be identified, the Corps may perform a Time Critical Removal Action, to immediately remove that imminent risk. Removal actions at the former Pinecastle Jeep Range in 2007-08 were conducted under a Time Critical Removal Action, while the Corps simultaneously worked through the sequential process. The current work is simply the implementation of the remedial actions recommended and approved for the area known as Demonstration Range North, which includes Odyssey Middle School and the properties in Tivoli Gardens and Lee Vista Square not previously investigated absent property owner permission to access. Demonstration Range North is one of three areas for which Decision Documents were signed; the other two areas, Demonstration Range East and the Remaining Area, required no further active remediation. The Decision Document for the fourth and final area, Demonstration Range South, is under review; this property is inaccessible to the public.
Quote: “The first order of business will be to dig up the track at the middle school, where it’s believed there could still be unexploded bombs even after previous attempts to remove them.”
Fact: The previous action focused on removing the munitions that could potentially pose an imminent threat. Some metallic objects were detected beneath the athletic track on school property but were not further investigated because the track would need to be removed in order to do so, and that was beyond the scope of the Time Critical Removal Action. The current work is part of the systematic process, prescribed by law, that the Corps follows at all Formerly Used Defense Sites. The Corps always planned to return to complete the remedial action.
Quote: “About 260 bombs and 14 tons of bomb debris were discovered at the old Pinecastle Jeep Range, under the school and at surrounding residential communities back in 2007.”
Fact: More than 260 munitions of different types (including rockets, mortars, 37-mm projectiles and rifle grenades, etc.) were recovered from the grounds of Odyssey Middle School, the undeveloped property adjacent to the school and in Tivoli Gardens. Nothing was “discovered” or removed from “under the school” as technology does not exist that can detect buried metallic objects under buildings.
Quote: “The dig will also include Tivoli Gardens and 129 residential lots at Lee Vista Square, where more cleanup is required.”
Fact: It has not yet been determined if “more cleanup is required” in Tivoli Gardens or Lee Vista Square. The Corps searched all the parcels within Tivoli Gardens and Lee Vista Square where the owners signed a Right of Entry, allowing crews to investigate their property either during the Time Critical Removal Action or during the Remedial Investigation. The current work will investigate those parcels that were not previously searched and for which the Corps now has permission to investigate (all remaining properties in Tivoli Gardens and approximately 60 percent of remaining properties in Lee Vista Square). In Tivoli Gardens, munitions and munitions debris were previously removed, primarily from the southern portion near the wetlands. In Lee Vista Square, munitions debris was recovered from the common areas; no munitions or munitions debris was found in residential lots. No munitions or munitions debris was found in any residential area north of Lee Vista Blvd.