Arsenic contamination found at Hansen helicopter crash site

Okinawa Bureau of Defense and Policy announced on Tuesday, that arsenic contamination has been discovered in the soil at the site where a U.S. Military HH60 rescue helicopter crashed in August in a mountainside on Camp Hansen.

The results are based on an environmental survey that the U.S. Military officials conducted at the crash site, and indicate that the topsoil contains 21 times the limit of arsenic set by Japan’s soil contamination countermeasure law. Excessive amounts of lead, cadmium and fluorine were also detected.

Water in a nearby dam was found to meet drinking water standards, and had no traces of elevated arsenic or other contamination levels.

The U.S. Military is reportedly already in the process of removing the contaminated soil from the site.  Once the work is complete, Okinawa Prefecture and Ginoza Village environmental officials are allowed to conduct their own survey on the site.