Guam governor orders EPA to test for traces of Agent Orange
Guam’s Environmental Protection Agency has been ordered to test sites around the tiny U.S. island territory for traces of the toxic Vietnam-era defoliant Agent Orange.
In a letter dated Jan. 19, Gov. Eddie Calvo instructed the agency’s on-island administrator, Walter Leon Guerrero, to examine “drinking water sources and soils,” where U.S. military veterans who served there in the 1960s and ‘70s claimed the toxic-chemical mixture had been sprayed.
“I have justifiable concern about the residual effects this chemical may have on our environment, particularly our aquifer and drinking water sources,” wrote Calvo, who said the testing was necessary after the veterans’ public claims.
The governor did not provide additional details about the claims or when they were made.
Guam EPA said it has requested affidavits from those veterans to pinpoint potentially affected areas, and is discussing the issue with colleagues in the U.S. and at the Defense Department.
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