18 Oct 2017
- By Cherrie Anne E. Villahermosa – [email protected] – Variety News Staff
TWO sites along the eastern ridge of the Pina Plateau on Tinian remain hazardous, according to the Department of Public Lands environmental site assessments and unexploded ordnance/munitions of explosive concern or UXO/MEC surveys.
DPL advised residents to stay away from the sites.
Rachel Roque, DPL real estate division director, said the department recommended that no development or activity should be done in the two areas until they are cleaned up.
She said DPL is seeking grants for the cleanup.
DPL completed the site assessments and surveys two weeks ago, using two Brownfields grants amounting to $550,000 awarded to DPL by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The Division of Environmental Quality provided DPL technical support throughout the course of the project.
In a media release, DPL said it assessed the sites located along the eastern ridge of the Pina Plateau on Tinian — Pina Ridge and the Masalog ammunition depot — that were used by the U.S. military for munitions storage during World War II.
DPL contracted EA Engineering, Science and Technology Inc. to conduct the site assessment on the Masalog ammunition depot, an approximately 30-acre site identified as Lot 271 T61, and located at the southeastern edge of Pina Ridge.
During a two-weeks field work, DPL said EA Engineering Science and Technology conducted a soil sampling survey. “The soil samples were analyzed for explosives, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, metals, and white phosphorous which are related to munitions storage and disposal.”
DPL said laboratory findings showed elevated concentrations of naphthalene and silver in some soil samples.
“However, the concentrations of these constituents are below USEPA environmental screening levels for residential or commercial industrial land use and therefore do not pose a health concern,” DPL added.
DPL said it also found four degraded bombs and more than 1,200 subsurface magnetic anomalies based on 33 percent screening on the site.
“Therefore, the site remains a significant UXO/MEC hazard and DPL requests that the public refrain from entering,” the department said.
Pina Ridge is an approximately 260-acre site, also identified as Tract41-3, extending from the northern border of the Masalog ammunition depot site, to the northeastern edge of Pina Ridge.
DPL said Allied Pacific Environmental Consulting Inc., which conducted an assessment on Pina Ridge, found elevated concentrations of TPH or total petroleum hydrocarbons and chromium in some soil samples.
Although concentrations are below USEPA levels and do not pose human health concern, 51 unexploded bombs were found on the site and 335 subsurface magnetic anomalies were identified, making the site still hazardous for the public, DPL said.
Roque said they will soon conduct similar site assessments on Saipan, specifically in As Matuis and Marpi.
Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/99392-dpl-says-2-tinian-lots-remain-hazardous