Redeveloper Devalues Former Fort Ritchie In Md.

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CASCADE, Md. (AP) — The Maryland company redeveloping the former Fort Ritchie Army base near Cascade says it doesn’t expect to recover its $28 million investment after learning the military tested Agent Orange and other tactical herbicides there decades ago.

Columbia-based Corporate Office Properties Trust announced the move in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing March 31.

The company says it re-evaluated the site’s prospects following Army disclosures in February about outdoor research on the defoliant blamed for adverse health effects among Vietnam-era service members.

Washington County officials say COPT had to devalue the property to appease investors. They say it doesn’t mean the company is abandoning plans to build homes and office buildings on the nearly 600-acre mountaintop site.

The Army closed Fort Ritchie in 1998.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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