In response to ongoing community concerns regarding potential environmental effects of the Radford Army Ammunition Plant (RAAP) on human health, Virginia Tech students collaborated with Pulaski County Board of Supervisors and Montgomery County Board of Supervisors to gather additional information about the possible presence of pollutants in the air. Students enrolled in the Appalachian Community Research course cataloged residents’ concerns about the Radford arsenal, identified and collated existing relevant studies and data, and wrote a literature review. The class also conducted air sampling for carcinogenic organic compounds (and possibly for lead) on up to 10 properties in the vicinity of RAAP at the request of residents and school administrators. Students were trained and supervised in air sampling by researchers in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE). The project was designed to gather needed data, to gain a better understanding of community concerns, and to help community partners increase residents’ understanding of scientific appraisals of RAAP’s environmental effects. In addition, the project hopes to improve lines of communication and possibly trust between RAAP and surrounding communities.
Anita Puckett, Ph.D.
Associate Professor & Director, Appalachian Studies Program
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)
Department of Religion and Culture 0227
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Telephone: (540) 231-9526