Here is a description of just a few of the major BLM areas suspected of being contaminated with old conventional, germ and chemical weapons:

  • The "Southern Triangle." It is a 32-square-mile area south of Dugway Proving Ground. It was used as a mortar impact range during the '50s and '60s — including for chemical and biological rounds. After Deseret News stories disclosed threats there in 1989, the military proposed annexing part of it to Dugway — but the BLM opposed that and wanted it cleaned instead.

    That area contains the "Rising Sun" grid, used to simulate Japanese tunnels and bunkers in World War II. Mustard agent was used to attack it. Unlike most other possibly contaminated areas, that old grid has been fenced and posted.

  • "Yellow Jacket Area." The 9-square-mile area also south of Dugway was used as a test area for chemical arms, fire bombs, rockets and smoke and mortar rounds during the 1950s.

  • I-80 corridor, Tooele County. The corridor between bombing ranges of Hill Air Force Base's Utah Test and Training Range covers 898 square miles. BLM studies say some land was used as a target area during World War II, and the BLM receives periodic reports of munitions found in the area.

  • Newfoundland Mountains. About 186 square miles of the desert range (part of which is adjacent to the Utah Test and Training Range) is suspected to have unexploded munitions.

  • Carrington Island. The 1,200-acre island in the Great Salt Lake was used as a target during World War II, so some amount of unexploded munitions are suspected.

  • Little Davis Mountain. A 250-acre area south of the Tooele County mountain was a disposal area for such items as nerve gas and live foreign chemical arms. Radioactive wastes were removed from the site in 1986. Comment on this story

  • Dugway Mountains. Ordnance is suspected throughout a 27-square-mile area in the range. The BLM had also called in the early '90s for a study of mines in the range saying "based upon documented incidents involving both unexploded ordnance and chemical residue, it is highly probable that these mine areas are potentially hazardous from a wide variety of munitions."

  • "Magcorp Ponds." The BLM reported that when the Tooele County area was examined in 1986 for possible use as an evaporation pond, many "projectiles were seen covering a vast area of public lands." It said the situation was reported to the Air Force, but it never received any follow-up — and doubts the site was cleared.