The Seoul Metropolitan Government drained a considerable amount of contaminated groundwater from areas near U.S. Forces Korea bases in downtown Seoul over the last decade.
A city government official on Tuesday said, "From 2001 until 2010, we extracted 128 liters of floating oil and 1,870 tons of contaminated groundwater from the vicinity of Noksapyeong Subway Station near Yongsan Garrison in Itaewon. Since 2007, we've also extracted 440 liters of floating oil and 100 tons of polluted groundwater from areas near Camp Kim in Namyeong-dong" in the same district.
The official said the polluted areas measure some 11,776 sq.m in the vicinity of the subway station and a 459 sq.m. near Camp Kim. Chemicals such as benzene, toluene, and xylene were found.
"Except for the old sites of Camp Gray in Daebang-dong and the UN Command in Dongbinggo-dong, which were handed over to the Korean government, we can't get access to Eighth U.S. Army headquarters and Camp Kim, so we have no other choice but to clean up nearby areas instead," the official said. "We're going to clean rest of the areas with the cooperation from the U.S. Embassy before the Yongsan Garrison is relocated."