VANCOUVER - A Unit 8 investigation uncovered a brand new EPA study that indicates contamination from Camp Bonneville is migrating and has reached surface water in Lacamas Creek.
The contamination comes from 80 years of weapons training at the former military base. Hundreds of live explosives and weapons have been unearthed during the past few years.
With five children, the Vangelder family lives on Lacamas Creek, very close to where it flows from Camp Bonneville.
Everything is downstream of the base including our property, said father Kirk Vangelder.
Clark County now owns the property, but the Army has funded most of the cleanup.
The Army has spent between $28 million and $30 million to date and those funds were insufficient to get all the contamination taken care of, said Michael Bertish, who leads a citizens group that petitioned for the new study. I'm worried about the people living near the camp and what effect any water contamination may have on their health. I'm not sure why the county didn't want this extensive EPA study.
Jerry Barnett is in charge of the Camp Bonneville cleanup project and says contamination levels in the new EPA study are actually lower than the government's own cleanup standards. Even so, he says information is a good thing.
We want to know if anything is going on, because we still haven't had time to evaluate whats happening, It would be a concern if it's migrating into the creek and offsite, said Barnett.
At this point, there's no evidence the Lacamas Creek contamination has moved off site. However, the Vangelder family wants to make sure.
I'm very interested in getting my well tested, said Vangelder. Officials with the EPA tell Unit 8 they will meet with Clark County and State Dept. of Ecology officials in the next few weeks to discuss what additional cleanup is needed at Camp Bonneville.
Read the latest EPA report here
Click for more from the concerned citizens group that petitioned for study