TAFB Addresses Environmental Concerns At Elementary School

By: Tyndall Air Force Base
By: Tyndall Air Force Base

In coordination with Tyndall Elementary School and the Bay District School Superintendent's office, notification letters have been mailed to parents, faculty and staff announcing a soil cleanup project scheduled to begin July 6.

Tyndall Elementary School was constructed on the site of a WWII
aerial gunnery school training range.

The training at this range involved using turret-mounted machine guns reconfigured to fire 12-gauge shotgun shells at clay targets thrown from fixed towers. Both the lead shot and the remnants of clay pigeon targets are now considered to be potentially hazardous.

In late May, Tyndall's Environmental Flight collected soil samples in and around the school yard as a part of the Military Munitions Response Program. Results of these samples showed potentially hazardous lead levels in certain areas at the school which were above acceptable residential levels.

While historic studies conducted in the area had indicated no health hazards associated with these contaminants, Brig. Gen. Darryl Roberson, 325th Fighter Wing Commander, has directed, as a precautionary measure, that the school yard be cleared of all such contamination.

"We are currently working with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) to ensure a safe and healthy environment is maintained for our children," said General Roberson.

Parents with concerns about lead concentrations should contact the Tyndall AFB Public Health Flight at (850) 283-7138, or the Bay County Public Health Department at 850-872-4720 ext 1209.

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