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November 30, 2017

Bombs in your backyard: ProPublica tool maps contaminated military sites across U.S.

Environment Military
11302017_ProPublica_Bombs Source/

The military spends more than a billion dollars a year to clean up sites across America that it has contaminated with toxic waste and explosives. ProPublica has developed a full map of the sites that is searchable.

At military installations – active and shuttered – across the Philadelphia region there are sites contaminated with toxic waste and explosives.

Every year, the military spends more than a billion dollars to clean up sites, which can be found in every state in the country, reports ProPublica, noting that some are near schools, residential neighborhoods and bodies of water.

Locally, high- and medium-risk sites are found at:

• The former Willow Grove Naval Air Station in Horsham, Montgomery County, where two high-risk landfill sites remain active with soil and groundwater contamination.

• Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in Burlington County, where 26 medium-risk sites include landfills, spill sites and unexploded ordinance.

• The former Frankford Arsenal in the Bridesburg section of Philadelphia, with a medium-risk multi-use range with explosives and munitions.

• The Nike site in Media, Delaware County, where PCE contamination in groundwater is a medium-risk site.

Cleanup at many sites will continue for decades, according to Department of Defense data.

For the first time, ProPublica has developed a searchable map of the sites. Just type in an address to see all the sites near your home or workplace. Or search all the sites in a specific state.