PCB CONTAMINATED CNMI SITES ALONG FORMER JAPANESE WWII DEFENSE LINES

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SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands (December 19, 2000 - Marianas Variety/PINA Nius Online/Abridged)---The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Environmental Chemical Corporation are moving forward in clearing up PCB contaminated areas in Tanapag.

But at least five other sites are reportedly remaining from World War II.

Briefing the Tanapag villagers, Army representative Joe Mau said additional sites located near the village social hall will not be touched until historical protocols have been addressed.

(PCBs are a cancer-causing man-made chemical. There has been continuing controversy over their presence in the Tanapag area and their effects on local people. The United States Department of Defense used PCB in a radar station in the area in the 1960s.)

Interviewed further, the Army official said the other contaminated sites, which are located close to Tanapag beach, were used by Japanese forces during World War II.

Two sites near the beach, he said, contained trenches dug by the Japanese forces as they made their last-ditch stand against invading American forces.

According to Mau, the killed Japanese were buried in their trenches.

The Army said they learned of these facts from the Historical Preservation Office.

It is believed that bones and war relics will be unearthed when the excavation is carried out.

Mau said work is expected to begin in December, with archaeologists on location.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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