An Air Force site west of the Great Salt Lake showed "no evidence of contamination" from Agent Orange tests performed during the early 1970s, according to 17-year-old report.
The findings were made in 1973 by the Virginia-based Science Applications International Corp., but they were just released by the Air Force as part of an Herbicide Orange decision document.Base spokesman Debbie Smith said the release of the report has been delayed for a number of years because other evaluations of the herbicide contained in the report were not yet complete.
A copy of the document is available for public inspection in the Davis County Library.
Soil and water samples from the test area were analyzed to determine the subsoil movements of Agent Orange and how long it would remain in the soil before breaking down or evaporating.
The potent and highly toxic herbicide, which was used in Vietnam to defoliate combat zones, is suspected of causing cancer and other tumors.
Smith said the site, located within the Utah Training and Test Range, was used for the test from 1972 to 1973. It consisted of two 50-foot by 100-foot plots of land where Agent Orange was buried during 1972 in drumlike containers.
The Virginia company tested the area by taking six soil core samples and drilling two shallow groundwater monitoring wells to sample subsurface water.
"No detectable quantities of the herbicide were found in any sample," Smith said in a news release Friday.
The report concluded that because no evidence of contamination was found at the site, the herbicide had either decomposed or been transported off site through evaporation.
"That lack of contamination, coupled with the distance of the test site from areas of human habitation, has led the Hill AFB Environmental Management Directorate to conclude that no further tests are necessary at this site," Smith said.
While the old test site has been dormant for 17 years, interest in the area was renewed when the base began an environmental restoration program in 1981 that examined all past hazardous waste practices at sites both on and off the military installation.
A survey of base records at that time turned up information on the Agent Orange test site, and prompted Air Force environmental officials to look for other records on the testing.