Cleanup progresses at Pinecastle Jeep Range

Published July 25, 2013

Cleanup is progressing on the Pinecastle Jeep Range Formerly Used Defense Site, Orlando, Fla., where the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is working to complete the clearance of World War II-era munitions and munitions debris remaining from past Department of Defense training and demonstrations. 

As munitions are recovered, they will be secured until they can be destroyed by detonation. Demolitions will typically take place on Friday mornings, unless otherwise notified, with the next operation scheduled for Friday, July 26. A safety perimeter is always established and engineering controls are used to ensure safety and to limit the noise and debris from the blast. The removal action poses no danger to people in the area.

USACE contractors earlier removed the athletic track at Odyssey Middle School and are digging under and around it to recover and remove remaining munitions from the school property. USACE is also investigating a portion of the wetlands between the school and Tivoli Gardens, as well as parcels in Tivoli Gardens and Lee Vista Square where the property owners did not previously grant permission to search. USACE has since received permission to search all of Tivoli Gardens and approximately 60 percent of the uninvestigated parcels in Lee Vista Square. Efforts to obtain permission to investigate all remaining properties in Lee Vista Square will continue throughout the duration of the current work. To date, no munitions have been recovered during the current work in the residential areas.

This work is a follow up to investigations and munitions removal conducted between 2007 and 2008. The earlier actions were part of a priority cleanup that removed the potential imminent risk, as USACE worked to complete the sequential phases of investigation required by law. The process was completed and final Decision Documents were signed for the area known as Demonstration Range North, which includes Odyssey Middle School, Tivoli Gardens and Lee Vista Square, and for two other areas, Demonstration Range East and Remaining Areas where no further action is necessary.

On behalf of the Department of Defense, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers cleans up sites that were formerly used by the military. In 1943, the U.S. government leased 12,483 acres of land in Orange County as an off-post site of the Pinecastle Army Airfield, for use as a gunnery and demonstration range. The site was declared surplus property and all leases were terminated by December 1947.            

“Safety is always our top priority,” said Frank Araico, project manager. Munitions may be dangerous and are not always easily recognizable. If you encounter potential munitions, follow the 3Rs of explosives safety: Recognize what you have encountered may be munitions, and munitions are dangerous. Retreat from the area without touching or moving the object. Report what you saw and where you saw it to local law enforcement immediately by dialing 9-1-1.

For further information, please e-mail or call 866.279.4880. To review documents about the Pinecastle Jeep Range Formerly Used Defense Site, please visit the Orlando Public Library Southeast Branch, 5575 S. Semoran Boulevard, Orlando, Fla.

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Nancy J. Sticht

Release no. 13-054