Advocates: VA needs to make rules to compensate Guam Agent Orange vets

SOIL TESTING From left, Nathan Leu from Weston Solutions Inc. and Amanda Wagner, from the same company, take soil samples with assistance from Brian Moyer, a veterans advocate and founder of Agent Orange Survivors of Guam. Guam Environmental Protection Agency contributed photo

The final test results are in for Agent Orange soil samples taken in November 2018, and one sample does show traces of 2,4,5-T, a herbicide component of Agent Orange, as well as 2,4,5-TP, also known as silvex. 

The findings are stated in a report by Weston Solutions Inc. provided to the Guam Environmental Protection Agency on Dec. 17, said agency spokesman Nic Lee. The tests were started at the request of the government of Guam and Joint Region Marianas. 

The Guam and U.S. Environmental Protection Agencies collected samples from five subsites in off-base areas that were believed to have been exposed to Agent Orange, officials stated.

"An area off of NCS road, along Route 3 and in the vicinity of Potts Junction and a pipe line tie-in located in Tiyan were among the first areas to be sampled. USEPA’s on-scene coordinator, Harry L. Allen, and USEPA Superfund Technical Assistance and Response Team contractors from Weston Solutions Inc. performed the sampling," the release stated.

The detection was from a soil sample from Tiyan Junction, which is near the southern edge of the A.B. Won Pat International Airport, according to the report from Weston. The sample was labeled TY-02. 

The concentrations of 2,4,5-T and 2,4,5,-TP didn’t exceed USEPA screening levels and are an approximate value, the report stated. 

The report also clarified the results of earlier testing within Andersen Air Force Base. These samples were first collected in April 2018 and sent to two labs for testing. One lab found trace amounts of 2,4-D, another Agent Orange component, and 2,4,5-T, but the other did not. More samples were collected in December 2018 and neither lab reported detection in the second round of sampling. 

"Detections for both 2,4,5-T and 2,4,5-TP were observed at the TY site location. The herbicide 2,4,5-T was a known component of (Herbicide Orange) and both herbicides have been banned for use in the United States since the early 1980s. The detection of the analytes 2,4,5-T and 2,4,5-TP during the November 2018 sampling event, in combination with the previous detection of 2,4,5-T and (possibly) 2,4-D from split samples collected from Area 1 located on AAFB in April 2018, indicate the presence of these residual chlorinated herbicides in the soils tested," the reported concluded.

Recommended for you