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Posted 11/25/2012

Release no. 12-090

Jacksonville, Fla. - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District will host a community meeting to present the Proposed Plan for the Former Chemical Warfare Decontamination Test Area, Fort Pierce Naval Amphibious Training Base, Thursday Nov. 29 at 6:30 p.m., at the Saint Lucie County Board of County Commissioners Chambers, 2300 Virginia Ave., Fort Pierce, Fla.


During World War II, the Joint Army-Navy Experiment and Testing Board (JANET) used the 19,280-acre site  for amphibious operations training and obstacle breaching and removal exercises. It extended along the coastline  from near Vero Beach south to near Jensen Beach and included North and South Hutchinson Islands. The Navy constructed more than 450 buildings and other improvements such as roads and sewer systems. By 1946, the site was no longer needed and the land was returned to the original owners. Much of the area comprising the former base has been developed and includes residential, commercial, governmental and educational facilities.


 This meeting will address only the Proposed Plan for the Former Chemical Warfare Decontamination Test Area, a twenty-six acre site located on South Hutchinson Island.


The Corps has conducted a number of investigations to determine if any munitions or chemical warfare materiel remains at the site. An analysis of the data concluded that no chemical agents or chemical warfare materiel remains on site.  Further, the beach where the decontamination studies were conducted has eroded away, and the present beach did not exist at the time of the military’s use. Therefore, no further action is necessary.


The Proposed Plan presents the remedial recommendations and alternatives to address areas of concern. Based on the analysis of the data, the Corps recommends no further action. Representatives from the Corps’ Jacksonville District will be available to explain the Proposed Plan and respond to audience questions.


On behalf of the Department of Defense, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers cleans up sites that were formerly used by the military. The Fort Pierce Naval Amphibious Training Base is a formerly used defense site that was used by the JANET during World War II for amphibious training and to develop and test procedures for breaching and removing beach fortifications.


Safety is always the Corps’ top priority. If you think you have found munitions, please follow the “3Rs” of explosives safety: Recognize when you may have encountered a munition, and that munitions are dangerous. Retreat without touching, moving or disturbing the object, noting its location. Report the object to local law enforcement by calling 911.


For more information about the Fort Pierce Naval Amphibious Training Base, please call toll-free 866-279-4880 or email FUDS.FLORIDA@usace.army.mil.