Badger Neighbors Oppose Army’s Plan

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Rural neighbors of Badger Army Ammunition Plant are objecting to the Army’s recent announcement to discontinue bottled water. The decision, residents say, is premature and the Army should first complete necessary studies and testing.

Dozens of residents will be petitioning for continued bottled water at the November 10 public meeting beginning at 6:30 pm at the River Arts Center in Prairie du Sac.

“Lack of information has been a problem from the beginning,” said Lance Delaney, a spokesperson for the group. “The Army has still not identified the source of the contamination, test methods have been unreliable, and the long-term quality of our drinking water is still unknown.”

Nearby municipalities, including the Townships of Sumpter, Prairie du Sac, and Merrimac, have voiced similar concerns about the integrity of drinking water supplies.  In recent months, all have passed resolutions supporting a permanent solution that will assure groundwater is free from any contamination from the closing military base.

“Contaminant levels are known to fluctuate with time,” added Kevin Fitzgerald, a resident of the Windings Subdivision.  “We are petitioning for quarterly testing to establish trends in water quality and to assure that concentrations of explosives and other contaminants in our drinking water do not place human health at risk.”

In late September, the Army offered new water supply wells to 2 homes in the Water’s Edge development near Gruber’s Grove Bay. Testing by the U.S. Army detected unsafe levels of dinitrotoluene (DNT), a compound that was used in the production of gun powder and rocket fuel. DNT can affect the blood, nervous system, liver, kidneys, and male reproductive system in both humans and animals, and is a suspected human carcinogen.

In December 2003, explosives were first detected in drinking water wells near Badger; since then, the Army has tested nearly 100 homes for potential contamination.

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