"Two years of digging at the U.S. Army's Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland has unearthed more than 2,000 tons of hazardous waste -- including vials of live bacteria and nonvirulent anthrax that the military did not know was buried there," the Washington Post reports.
Discovery of the pathogens at the former biological weapons research center turned what the Army thought would be industrial waste removal into the biggest cleanup in its history. So far, cleanup crews have discovered more than 100 glass vials, many containing live bacteria, and in a few, a nonvirulent strain of anthrax. The $25 million excavation is due to end this year.While the Army searches for evidence of biological and chemical weapons in Iraq, Fort Detrick's cleanup saga shows how, nearly 40 years after the United States ended such programs at home, it still struggles with their lingering dangers. As in the Middle East, poor documentation, the passage of time and the programs' secrecy have slowed the effort."You find it, contain it and try to figure out what it is," said Col. John Ball, Fort Detrick garrison commander. "We're learning, but it's expensive."(via Global Security Newswire)