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Quality of Guam's soil being investigated

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As veterans continue to speak out about the use of Agent Orange in Guam, an investigation into possible residue left in Guam's water and soil is being conducted and has expanded to include other rainbow herbicides.

It's a toxic herbicide used heavily during the Vietnam War...but was it ever used in Guam?

While several veterans have testified that Agent Orange was sprayed here in the 1960's, Governor Eddie Baza Calvo is looking to the Guam Environmental Protection Agency for answers - he called for an investigation into the presence of Agent Orange residue in Guam's environment last month.

Public information officer, Nic Lee, says GEPA is making significant progress. "We've informed the administration that we're also going to be expanding the testing to include the entire rainbow herbicides. Several environmental firms have been contacted to provide soil sampling quotations, because there's no facility in Guam that can test soil for herbicides including Agent Orange," he said.

 Lee added that the regulatory agency will be funding the investigation through existing grants, and will also work with the Guam Waterworks Authority. "Where they will be conducting testing with their wells, production and monitoring wells also," he added.

GEPA has also started discussions with Joint Region Marianas because some of the areas that need to be tested are on the military bases. The areas were identified through the help of veterans who have spoken out over the years. "We're gathering firsthand accounts to help aid us in our investigation so gentlemen like Leroy Foster, Ralph Stanton, Brian Moyer, Gerard Laitres...there's a few others I can't recall off the top of my head but they've been very instrumental, with aiding us in our investigation," he said.

While progress is underway, Lee said it's unclear how long it will be before sampling and testing is completed.

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