U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to hold public meeting on Orlando Range & Chemical Yard
Proposed Plan to be presented for public review and comment
Jacksonville, Fla. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District will hold a public meeting Tuesday, December 10 beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Stonewall Jackson Middle School, 6000 Stonewall Jackson Rd., Orlando, Fla. Corps representatives will explain the Proposed Plan for the former Orlando Range & Chemical Yard Formerly Used Defense Site. The community is invited to review and comment on the plan during the public comment period, December 11 through January 13, 2014.
In 1942 and 1943, the United States acquired approximately 2,111 acres for the Orlando Range and Chemical Yard. The military used the site for rifle and pistol practice, munitions demonstrations, and as a chemical storage yard. The chemical yard was used to store smoke and incendiary munitions and other chemicals, such as decontamination agents (similar to chlorine used in pools or laundry bleach) and mustard agent. Most of the land was used as a buffer to keep people away from military munitions and supplies.
In 2009, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed a Site Inspection of the four areas the military used, and nothing remained from the military activities in two of the four areas. Pieces of munitions (called munitions debris) were located in an area referred to as Goldenrod Road Field. An incendiary device and munitions debris were found in the area known as the Demonstration Range. Therefore, these two areas were investigated further during the Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study. The fieldwork included looking for munitions with metal detectors and collecting soil and water samples.
Goldenrod Road Field is an undeveloped area near the intersection of Goldenrod Road and the East-West Expressway. The Demonstration Range is now part of a residential area near the intersection of Goldenrod Road and Curry Ford Road. The streets within the Demonstration Range include portions of Alvina Way, Barksdale Drive, Budapest Way, Colton Drive, Eaker Drive, Garwood Drive, Leighton Way, Hershey Way, Karden Way, Lakner Way, Moderna Way, Pender Way, Stockholm Way and Tripoli Way.
During the Remedial Investigation, crews dug up 2,270 metallic objects, but no munitions were found in either area. No elevated levels of metals or explosives were detected in the soil or water in the residential areas. Based on the results of the investigation, the Corps evaluated six different alternatives, ranging from no action to excavation and restoration. The recommended alternative for Goldenrod Road Field is no further action. The recommended alternative for the Demonstration Range is public education coupled with five-year reviews. The Corps will keep the public informed about the military’s past use of the site. The Corps will also re-evaluate the site at a minimum every five years, to ensure protection for people and the environment is maintained. The Proposed Plan and alternatives will be discussed at the public meeting on December 10, 2013.
Further information and project documents are available at the Orland Public Library, Southeast Branch, 5575 Semoran Blvd., Orlando, Fla. Questions may be referred toll-free at 866-279-4880 or by email to FUDS.Florida@usace.army.mil.
Comments on the Proposed Plan will be accepted at the public meeting or by mail, through January 13, 2014 to:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District
ATTN: Frank Araico (CESAJ-PM-M)
701 San Marco Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL 32207
The potential for munitions on the former Orlando Range & Chemical Yard is extremely low and munitions may not always be recognized. 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.