" ... Doctors ... say there [are] more than 1,100 cases of cancer within a three mile radius of Fort Detrickand Area B. ... Fort Detrick says Area B poses no public health risk. ... "
March 8, 2013
FREDERICK, MD - Some residents are outraged the City of Alderman approved a plan that could bring more than 700 houses to Shookstown Road, adjacent to Fort Detrick's Area B. Members of "Fighting For Frederick," say the area is one of the most hazardous in the country.
They represent Kirsten Renee and the foundation started in her memory.
"In 2008, she passed away. She died from brain cancer, just a horrible thing for a 28-year-old" says Susan Funk of "Fighting For Frederick". Doctors determined it was from an environmental link, and through research, they say there's more than 1,100 cases of cancer within a three mile radius of Fort Detrickand Area B.
Glenn Hilburn of Shookstown Road says he'll stand in front of a bull-dozer if he has to. He lost his 39-year-old son to cancer.
"July 1st, eight months ago, after a year and a half, it was quite a struggle," says Glenn Hilburn of Frederick.
City officials say developers met the requirements when they were approved in 2001. In 2004, the Maryland Department of Environment said initial testing had the property in the clear.
"Since 2005, the Fort has come back and done a lot more testing, and they've found that on the Fort Property, on Area B there are high levels on contamination. And again, they want to get on this property to see if the contamination had moved underground," says Joe Adkins, Deputy Director of Planning.
Members of "Fighting For Frederick" say contamination will continue to cause health problems.
"Those contaminants can be sucked up and that's called vapor intrusion," says Funk. And that's why the planning commission says the EPA is now reaching out to developers for additional testing.
"The biggest concern we heard from the EPA is the vapors coming up, if there is contamination," says Adkins.
We reached out to Rocky Gorge Development for comment and they did not return our calls.
Fort Detrick says Area B poses no public health risk. They say, they along with the EPA and MDE will continue to monitor and further test the site and its surrounding areas.