"Priority attention" will be given to the problem of stray ordnance in the Tierrasanta community, the Department of Defense announced Thursday.
The order was in response to a letter sent late last year by Rep. Bill Lowery (R-San Diego) to Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, calling on him to seek funding for a long-term cleanup program for the community, which was built on a former military base.
Two Tierrasanta boys were killed and another was injured Dec. 10, 1983, after a live anti-tank shell they found exploded while they played with it. The shell had long been buried in the former Camp Elliot artillery range, but years of erosion exposed the shell to curious eyes, leading to the fatal explosion.
In the letter to Lowery, Deputy Secretary of Defense William Taft said, "The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is the department's executive agent for formerly used sites, has been directed to address the Tierrasanta area in this year's Environmental Restoration Program. Additionally, in recognition of the need for immediate attention to the problem, the Department of the Navy has been asked to develop a program to sweep, inspect and remove the ordnance from Tierrasanta."