2002 CPEO Military List Archive

From: christinebettencourt@earthlink.net
Date: 26 Nov 2002 14:36:00 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: Re: [CPEO-MEF] Unexploded Arms Require Big Cleanup At 16,000 U.S. Sites
     The Press Release from Public Employees for Environmental
Responsibility article on unexploded ordnance was RIGHT ON, even if it did
misprint 16,000 bases in the USA instead of 1,600.  Everything else checked
out A-okay from my front row seat!
     The article states, "The Department of Defense has been taking
ill-advised shortcuts to limits costs on unexploded ordnance cleanups at
military bases such as Fort Ord, on Californias Monterey Penninsula, which
had located chemical and biological weapons and used open burning and open
detonation techniques to get rid of munitions, failed to erect fencing even
though it is close to housing and civilian locations, that findings were
either modified or omitted from the final EPA report, which was later made
public and that statistical sampling was unacceptable to the EPA."
     The articles allegations are absolutely true.  You suggested a
mechanism for regulatory agencies to require UXO cleanup.  It appears to be
already in place, this is why the EPA's muscle power supports uxo response
more favorably than protection of  human and environmental health and safety
from toxic fumes exposures.  If munition responses were directly tied to
hazardous waste laws like they are suppose to be and not just on paper, then
the illegal act of openly burning and detonating (vaporizing) leaky,
corroded and crystalllized toxic, munitions and other toxics would be
enforced. US Corp. of Engineers states in a Fort Ord EECA uxo risk
assessment that 6,500 more people will die from toxic vapors than from being
blown up after trespassing on  weapon ranges on closed bases.
    The article forgot to mention that at Fort Ord, Congressman Sam Farr
pressures for faster, cheaper, dangerous cleanup methods like open burning
and open detonations, solely to speed development agendas and keep cleanup
costs down.
Congressman Farr saves exotic birds on remote islands and elephants in
Africa, but he is also sadly responsible for injuries to our health and
environment from Fort Ord's environmentally reckless cleanup.
     The BRAC cleanup contractor also consistently relays misinformation on
health and safety to the public even when their own sampling and sound
medical science proves otherwise.  They prefer to keep the money and the
cleanup going,  than to get it done.
    In my opinion, Fort Ord and other bases, need tall, vibrational fences
around their multi-range/burn  areas while environmental scientists, not
environmental terrorists, address stopping pathway migrations of toxis
instead of making existing ones worse and creating new ones.  Inflicting
irreversable risk on the entire population and environment is a criminal act
regardless of the excuse.  If our Congressmen, Army or any body else wants
to donate land for economic recovery, development, schools, affordable
housing, arts or any other cause, they should donate clean, safe, non-toxic,
dud free land-not located on a Superfund or Military site.  There are plenty
of National Forests around, close to water sources that are waiting to
utilized.  What a concept!  The governments gives healthy land to its people
who it belongs to.

With Love,


----- Original Message -----
From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
To: Military Environmental Forum <cpeo-military@igc.topica.com>
Sent: Monday, November 25, 2002 1:28 PM
Subject: Re: [CPEO-MEF] Unexploded Arms Require Big Cleanup At 16,000 U.S.

> The Press Release, from Public Employees for Environmental
> Responsibility, that served as the basis for the Washington Post article
> on Unexploded Ordnance is available at
> http://www.peer.org/press/292.html]. The release contains links to
> versions of EPA's survey as well as a "briefing" with the 16,000 number.
> There is no question that cleaning up unexploded ordnance in this
> country is a major challenge, but I repeat, there are not 16,000
> inactive ranges. If those of us who are concerned about this problem
> want to hold the Defense Department's feet to the fire, we have to
> carefully check the information that comes our way.
> Lenny Siegel
> Lenny Siegel wrote:
> >
> > I've been deluged this morning with e-mails of the Washington Post
> > article on unexploded ordnance (UXO). As someone who has worked for
> > years to highlight the UXO problem, I'm pleased to see the attention.
> >
> > Unfortunately, the article is inaccurate and sensational.
> >
> > First and foremost, I've never seen any document suggesting that there
> > are 16,000 inactive military ranges. Perhaps there was a typo. 1,600
> > seems more reasonable.
> >
> > Second, the article suggests that government officials have not
> > acknowledged the extent of the problem. Though it's taking the Defense
> > Department forever to come up with a detailed inventory of sites, both
> > Defense and EPA have recognized and reported the significance of the
> > problem for years.
> >
> > As a result, Congress has gradually increased pressure for munitions
> > response, requiring the inventory, separate reporting of munitions
> > response expenditures, and just recently, the centralization of program
> >
> > There is, of course, much more to be done. There must be a mechanism for
> > regulatory agencies to require UXO cleanup. Technologies should be
> > developed and proven to address ordnance contamination reliably and
> > cost-effectively. There should be flexible national standards for site
> > security. And there needs to be a funding stream commensurate with the
> > size of the problem.
> >
> > Lenny
> >
> --
> Lenny Siegel
> Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
> c/o PSC, 278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041
> Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
> Fax: 650/961-8918
> <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
> http://www.cpeo.org
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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