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Depot land review uneventful

April 07, 1998|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Few people turned out Tuesday night at Letterkenny Army Depot for a meeting to review a proposal to transfer 234 acres of land from the Department of the Army to the Letterkenny Industrial Development Authority.

The Army, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and state Department of Environmental Protection are proposing transferring approximately 24 parcels of land to the authority this summer.

The plan calls for deed restrictions prohibiting the authority or tenants from drilling wells or doing any construction that would expose contaminated groundwater, according to Bryan Hoke, the Base Realignment and Closure Commission's environmental coordinator for the depot.

The authority has been designated by Franklin County as the group that will develop and market land that the Army is turning over for civilian use.

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A total of 1,450 acres at the depot are to be turned over to the authority as a result of the commission's 1995 decision to downsize the depot.

Hoke said the public comment period on the proposed transfer expires April 29. Any comments received will be addressed in a legal agreement the Army, EPA and DEP could sign by June 1, he said.

Established in the early days of World War II, the depot has contaminated soil and groundwater from chemicals improperly disposed of on the site over several decades. John Van Horn, program manager for the authority, said the Army's plan is to continue to monitor the contamination and "restrict any contact with the contaminated groundwater."

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