Decision Documents signed for Pinecastle Jeep Range
Final restoration of former military site to be completed this year
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District announced that Decision Documents have been signed for three of four sections, or Munitions Response Sites (MRSs), of the former Pinecastle Jeep Range in Orlando, Fla. The site, located near the Orlando International Airport, was used by the Department of Defense during World War II for military training and demonstrations. Although the site was cleaned up by the military to the standards of the day, munitions and munitions debris remain in the area and have been the subject of restoration efforts by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) since 2008. The signed Decision Documents represent the approval of USACE headquarters of the final recommended alternatives for each area of the site.
Priority munitions and munitions debris recovery and removal work on a portion of the former Pinecastle Jeep Range was completed in 2008, and an investigation, to determine the nature and extent of remaining munitions on the entire site, was completed in 2010. The site was divided into four distinct MRSs, and the alternatives approved in the Decision Documents for each MRS are as follows:
• Demonstration Range North (south of Lee Vista Boulevard, including Odyssey Middle School and the Tivoli Gardens and Lee Vista Square communities): Environmental restoration work (digging up and disposing of remaining munitions and munitions debris, if any) will be completed this year.
• Demonstration Range East (includes the Beltway Commerce Center and a portion of the Orange County Landfill): No further remedial action is required.
• Remaining Area (includes all residential neighborhoods except those in Demonstration Range North): No further action is necessary, since no munitions or contamination of any kind was found. In the residential areas, no contamination of any kind was found north of Lee Vista Boulevard.
The fourth MRS, Demonstration Range South, includes a portion of the undeveloped property known as Mockingbird. A Decision Document for this area is currently under review. The privately owned property is undeveloped and inaccessible to the public.
“Public health and safety is the Corps’ top priority,” said Frank Araico, project manager. “That’s why we have been conducting our environmental restoration activities on this site over the last several years with painstaking care. However, we ask everyone in the area to help us, by remembering and following the ‘3Rs’ of explosives safety – if you find something you suspect may be old military munitions, Recognize that it may be munitions and munitions are dangerous; Retreat, without touching or moving the object; and Report the finding to local law enforcement by calling 9-1-1.”
Following completion of the planned environmental restoration work later this year, final reports will be prepared and released for public review and comment. Once the project is completed and closed, it will be reviewed every five years, to ensure that public health and safety is maintained.
For further information or to review documents about the former Pinecastle Jeep Range Formerly Used Defense Site, please visit the Orlando Public Library Southeast Branch, 5575 S. Semoran Boulevard, Orlando, Fla. Questions may be emailed to FUDS.Florida@usace.army.mil.
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Editors: Several one-minute public service announcements featuring the “3R” safety message mentioned above are available for broadcast use. Please contact Nancy J. Sticht, Corporate Communications Office, at the above listed email address for further information.