FREDERICK, Md. (WJZ) — The Army takes another look at possible groundwater contamination around Fort Detrick. 

Pat Warren reports many residents suspect water from wells in the area have created a long-standing health hazard.

The history of Fort Detrick in Frederick County puts a scare in residents like Dottie Blank, who believe they are plagued with contaminants from Vietnam-era research into chemical warfare.

“I believe I have this enemy across from me,” Blank said.

In an Eyewitness News special report in November, Blank told WJZ she and others may have cancer due to groundwater contamination.

“What I have, is it because of Detrick?” she said.

People throughout Frederick are asking that question.  Some came to Annapolis to petition the General Assembly for answers this year.  Jennifer Peppe-Hahn made a point to be at a National Research Committee briefing in Frederick Monday.  She’s battled cancer since age 13.

“I had Hodgkin’s disease at 13 and I went to Waverly Elementary and lived near Area B,” Peppe-Hahn said.  “I just got through breast cancer at 38.”

Area B, the point of contamination, is under new investigation by the Army.

“The records disappeared from Fort Detrick.  Now that doesn’t mean they’re lost; they went to archive.  I always use the Raiders of the Lost Ark analogy, where that box was put in the warehouse. The records were scattered to at least 17 different locations,” said Ft. Detrick Environmental Coordinator Robert Craig.

New studies are intended to provide more accurate information.  Results of the study could be available by the end of the year.

The National Research Council is reviewing the Army’s continuing investigation.

Comments (6)
  1. Doug says:

    Talk about the irony here.
    In other words,the army is killing us,in the name of protecting us.

  2. JackDaniels says:


  3. Shelby Dilley says:

    Convenient, that the records are somewhere. Why didn’t they scan them into computer like the rest of the government has with their files?

    1. Trish says:

      All depends when they were sent out. If it were years ago they most likely didn’t have scanners to store them in computers like today.

  4. Lou Krieger says:

    Those record are only made available to those who know how to get them, beleive me, I have tried and tried. Ft. Detrick’s Bob Craig, Randal Curtis and the rest of the crew there will not even answer my questions anymore, I have to go through a Public Information Officer at the Pentagon now! The meeting I attended in February was a “Dog and Pony Show” with limited access to the Media (no cameras), misinformation and lack of public input “as advertised” at the end of the meeting. It was a “sad representation” of the government and the military concerning the citizens of Frederick, Md. If not for the Kristen Renee Foundation, the contamination would have continued unabated. With all of the litigation on Agents Orange, White and Blue, these records should have had a central location. If WJZ wants to follow this up…check with the US Army Public Health Command at Aberdeen…the records that have been reviewed by Mr. Curtis and his crew at Ft. Detrick concerning these tests have been moved there from Detrick or the College Park warehouse where they have been stored.

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