Fort Meade says gases from dump don't threaten students' health

December 15, 2004|By Phillip McGowan | Phillip McGowan,SUN STAFF

A Fort Meade official said last night that methane and other gases emanating from a closed, 1940s-era trash dump pose no threat to students at nearby Manor View Elementary School.

Contractors identified the gases after reviewing preliminary lab results of soil and vapor samples last Wednesday, according to a statement from Lt. Col. Rodney Gettig, director of public works at Fort Meade. The Army ruled out any risks after conducting additional tests Thursday and Friday, the statement said.

The school district, which notified faculty at Manor View yesterday about the presence of methane, will send students home with a letter today to inform parents of an upcoming meeting on the situation, said Jonathan Brice, the county public schools spokesman.

The school district will test the air inside the school today, Brice said, adding that Manor View will operate on a normal schedule.

The dump site was discovered by Picerne Real Estate Group during construction of housing on the military base in February 2003.

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