By Eighth Army Public AffairsJune 29, 2011
YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea -- The Joint Investigation Team established to investigate claims that Agent Orange was buried on Camp Carroll, South Korea, in 1978 has made significant progress since its formation last month.
The team’s investigative efforts have focused on two primary questions. Was Agent Orange buried on Camp Carroll? And what happened to the drums and soil reportedly removed from Camp Carroll in 1979-80?
The U.S. portion of the team, also known as the Camp Carroll Task Force, has conducted interviews with 26 people in the U.S. and South Korea wo claim to have direct or indirect knowledge of either burial or recovery of drums of chemicals on Camp Carroll.
There are more than 30 names currently on the interview list and it continues to grow with the recent inclusion of Korean citizens from Chilgok County that worked on Camp Carroll during the time of the alleged burial.
Besides interviews, the Camp Carroll Task Force has also researched documents from around the peninsula and in numerous locations in the U.S. These include a land use study from 1992 and an environmental survey from 2004.
These two documents show that chemicals were buried at Camp Carroll in the late 1970s and were later removed. The chemicals listed in the two documents do not include Agent Orange.
TESTING AND EVALUATION
A cadre of environmental experts from South Korea and the U.S. has conducted a non-intrusive survey of the area identified by witness Stephen House at the location he claims to have buried barrels of Agent Orange. The survey included the use of ground-penetrating radar and metal detectors.
They have begun surveying a second site identified by other witnesses and the 1992 and 2004 documents at the other side of the Camp Carroll helipad area.
Following this, the experts will survey the remainder of the helipad area.
The Joint Investigation Team released water samples taken outside Camp Carroll by the Korean Government on June 16, 2011. These samples did not contain any indication of Agent Orange, while containing trace amounts of dioxin at measurements not harmful to humans and below background levels in the surrounding community.
Water samples have also been taken from 22 wells on Camp Carroll. The results of those tests will be announced, along with analysis of the ground-penetrating radar and metal detector surveys.
THE WAY AHEAD
Interviews and records research will continue until all available pertinent information is recovered.
Non-intrusive surveying should be complete by mid-July. The results of the non-intrusive surveys and water testing will refine the plan for follow-on testing.
To date, no evidence of Agent Orange has been discovered either on Camp Carroll or in the adjacent community.