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AMPRO Donates $10K to advance WWII Ordnance Research at NMC (April 15, 2008)

With its recent donation of $10,000, AMPRO recently shored up its support of the Northern Marianas College’s efforts to extensively investigate and chronicle the effects of unexploded World War II ordnances in the CNMI.

The donated funds will enable NMC to hire students who can undertake the field research necessary to identify and locate photographic evidence of persons injured or killed as a result of coming into contact with unexploded World War II munitions. The students will also be involved in documenting oral histories from people who have either been victims or know victims of accidental detonations or inhalation of fumes from damaged projectiles. The findings of all the studies will be used as a basis for a plan to remove WWII bombs and other explosives that pose a danger to the CNMI population and visiting tourists.

AMPRO is a professional company dealing with the disposition of unexploded ordnance and toxic waste including trading of UXO units throughout Micronesia.

“We are extremely thankful for AMPRO’s generosity in funding this important project,” said NMC President Dr. Carmen Fernandez. “The funds provide a considerable boost to the long term aim of identifying and ultimately eliminating all harmful, unexploded ordnance in the CNMI.”

Under the direction of NMC history instructor Sam McPhetres, the students have already found viable materials in the Historic Preservation Office, the CNMI Archives at NMC, the Emergency Management Office, and the American Memorial Park Visitor Center. The students will also be interviewing those who are aware of accidental deaths resulting from post-war contact with WWII munitions.

Part of the community awareness involved with the project will be the compilation of a five-minute video, which will be shown at a national conference on toxic waste that is slated for May 2008. A full-length documentary will be produced later.

The final products of the students’ research work will be handed over to the Department of Public Lands, which is the lead agency coordinating the Brownfields project for the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Other departments that are part of the project include the Division of Environmental Quality.

Residents of the CNMI who wish to participate in the oral interview portion of the study can contact Sam McPhetres at 234-5498 Ext. 1204 or by email at [email protected]

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