Military Seeks $21M to Clean Lead-Contaminated Armories

The 633rd Security Forces Squadron armory supports approximately 50 Service members daily with the vital weapons and equipment needed to guard and defend Langley Air Force Base. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Brittany E. N. Murphy)
The 633rd Security Forces Squadron armory supports approximately 50 Service members daily with the vital weapons and equipment needed to guard and defend Langley Air Force Base. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Brittany E. N. Murphy)

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Oregon Military Department is seeking $21.6 million from the federal government to clean up toxic armories around the state.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reported Wednesday that the money would go toward cleaning armories in Portland, Ashland, Backer City, Bend, Coos Bay, Eugene, McMinnville, Ontario, Pendleton and Salem.

The state's request to the National Guard Bureau comes after an 18-month investigation by The Oregonian that revealed widespread lead dust problems in armories nationwide.

The 2016 investigation showed that state military leaders tried to cover up how long they knew about the problem and downplay its severity. The Oregon military has recently increased disclosure about its toxic armories.

In December, the National Guard Bureau, which oversees state units, said it would pay for armory cleanups, the first time it has made such a commitment.

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