Environmental agencies to soon decide on two-year McClellan military review

May 6—An organized group of veterans with military service at the former Army base of Fort McClellan between the years of 1950 and 1998 will soon know the answers they have been seeking for several years about the environmental toxic spill sites that used to be there.

The Fort McClellan Veterans Stakeholders Group filed a formal petition for services and a national Cumulative Risk Assessment Study at the Agency for Toxic Substances in Atlanta, Georgia on June 11, 2021. The group recently received an email notice from the agency that the review has been completed and the decision is now undergoing their clearance process prior to a public release.

A press release from Susan R. Frasier, lead activist for Toxic Exposure Army Veterans of Fort McClellan, states the medical patient petition has undergone a rigorous, expert environmental science review by the three combined agencies of the Center for Disease Control, the Environmental Protection Agency at Region 4 and the Agency for Toxic Substances which are all located in Atlanta.

The ruling decision by the agencies is expected to hold the first official environmental decision regarding ten toxic sources that were named by the veterans' group as the focus of their concerns about health risks.

The petition review in Atlanta began with nearly 3,500 pages of environmental engineering source papers that were compiled by the veterans. Then the agencies located over 9,000 more source documents after the Department of Defense granted them access to a privileged database holding history papers. In later months, the veterans located another critical source file at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah. The new file was nearly 2,500 pages in size. The trove of papers that the agencies had to move through took more time to process than was originally estimated at the start. The veterans are now relieved that a decision date is near to put an end to their worries, according to the press release.

The Fort McClellan Veterans Stakeholders group is organized on Facebook under the page name Toxic Exposure Army Veterans of Fort McClellan. Veterans with service at the former Army base are invited to join so they can be the first to receive the ruling decision when it is finally released from Atlanta. The agencies have been meeting with the veteran's group by way of computer teleconferencing until their medical patient petition is decided.

Staff Writer Brian Graves: 256-236-1551.