2000 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: Tue, 29 Feb 2000 14:37:52 -0800 (PST)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Greenpeace Removes PCB Laden Transformer from Former US Base In Phili
[This was posted to the list by Arc Ecology, arc@igc.org]

Dear CPEO, Please Post
Saul Bloom for the US Working Group on Philippine Bases Cleanup
Lisa Finaldi
Greenpeace International Toxics Campaign
11 B Glenwood Avenue
Raleigh, North Carolina, USA 27603
1 919 828 5202 phone
1 919 832 9100 fax
email: lisa.finaldi@dialb.greenpeace.org


Rick Hind
1436 U Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 319-2445 phone (NEW)
(202) 462-4507 fax
email: rick.hind@wdc.greenpeace.org



Manila/Amsterdam, 29 February 2000: Greenpeace today removed a former 
United States military airbase transformer which was leaking extremely 
toxic industrial chemicals (PCBs) into the environment in a residential 
area of Mabalacat, in the Philippines. 

Analysis of the soil samples from the community area where the 
transformer was found contained PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) up to 
18 times higher than levels considered safe for residential areas, and 
up to three times the level considered hazardous waste. The 400 kva 
transformer, measuring 2 meters high and weighing about 1 to 2 tons, was 
clearly marked as containing PCBs and owned by the United States. 

Greenpeace activists, wearing full hazardous materials protection gear, 
took action to clean up hazardous wastes abandoned by the United States 
in Clark Air Base, demanding that the US pay for the pollution and clean 
up the toxic contamination it left behind after American forces left the 
Philippines in 1992. 

"Recognizing the urgency of the situation, Greenpeace decided to take 
steps to contain the PCB contamination from the transformer to prevent 
any further exposure. It's a shame that a rich country like the United 
States has chosen to ignore its responsibilities in the Philippines 
despite the fact that contamination at former US bases is already 
poisoning the environment and the people," said Von Hernandez, 
Greenpeace Toxics Campaigner in the Philippines. 

PCBs are industrial chemicals used mostly in electrical equipment. They 
promote cancer and increase susceptibility to disease. PCBs harm the 
environment and have been classified as a persistent global pollutant by 
the United Nations Environment Program.(1) 

"Local communities surrounding Clark Air base have for many years 
identified mysterious deaths and health complaints including cancer, 
nervous system disorders, and reproductive problems, " said Hernandez. 

There is already a lot of evidence pointing to serious contamination 
problems in the former US bases, in Clark and Subic Bay. Greenpeace 
believes this case represents only the tip of the iceberg as regards 
wastes from the former US bases. It is well known that a lot of US base 
equipment including PCB containing transformers have been looted out of 
the base by enterprising locals out to sell them for recycling or 

"As an American, I am embarrassed that my government refuses to take 
responsibility for this pollution that is causing harm to innocent 
families," said Jack Weinberg, advisor to the Greenpeace Toxics 
Campaign. Neither Filipinos nor Americans should be forced to endure 
these hazards in their backyards 

"It is no surprise that the US government opposes the efforts of other 
governments to establish an effective global treaty under the United 
Nations to eliminate these dangerous substances when it leaves its waste 
in other countries backyards, " added Weinberg. 

For more information: Von Hernandez, Greenpeace Toxics Campaigner in the 
Philippines, Tel: +63-917-5263050; Francis de la Cruz, Greenpeace Toxics 
Campaigner in the Philippines, Tel: +63-919-5560682; Jack Weinberg, 
Greenpeace advisor, +63-918- 9038687; Media liaison Athena 
Ronquillo-Ballesteros, Tel: +63- 917-813156; Teresa Merilainen, 
Greenpeace International, Press Officer Tel: +31-625 031001. 

Footage available on request; Pictures will be available from 
Greenpeace's picture desk website: 

Follow Greenpeace's Toxic Free Asia Tour on the web: 

Notes to the editors: 

PCBs are persistent toxic chemicals. Once released into the environment, 
they can stay around for many years and ultimately contaminate not just 
the local environment but the whole globe. PCBs have been short listed 
by the United Nations Environment Programme as one of the 12 Persistent 
Organic Pollutants slated for action under a global treaty presently 
being negotiated by over 100 governments. The next negotiating meeting 
on this treaty begins on March 20 in Bonn Germany. It will address, 
among other issues, commitments to provide technical and financial 
assistance to countries that otherwise would not have the capacity to 
eliminate these persistent poisons. 

Greenpeace's flagship the Rainbow Warrior is in the Philippines until 
the 8th of March on the third leg of its Toxic Free Asia Tour. The tour 
includes India, Thailand, Philippines, Hong Kong and Japan. 


Teresa Merilainen
Media Coordinator
Tosic Free Asia Tour
Greenpeace International
Press Office
Tel: ++31-20-524 9546
Gsm: ++31-(0)625031001 
E-mail: tmerilainen@ams.greenpeace.org
You can find archived listserve messages on the CPEO website at 


If this email has been forwarded to you and you'd like to subscribe, please send a message to: 

Want to find the best email lists? Check out the Topica 20!

  Prev by Date: [CPEO-MEF] Sierra Army Depot - DTSC letter
Next by Date: [CPEO-MEF] UXO Public Notice
  Prev by Thread: [CPEO-MEF] Sierra Army Depot - DTSC letter
Next by Thread: [CPEO-MEF] UXO Public Notice

CPEO Lists
Author Index
Date Index
Thread Index