2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 11 Apr 2003 20:58:19 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Conference looks into problem of toxic military waste in Alaska
Conference looks into problem of toxic military waste in Alaska
April 11, 2003
By DAN RICE, Staff Writer

Larry Aiken says he remembers helping pull military vehicles from Elson
Lagoon near his place of birth in Barrow.

"Some of the vehicles we pulled out, a lot of gas would be pulled out,
and a lot of oil would be pulled out," said Aiken, who spoke in
Fairbanks Thursday about his involvement in a recent project to clean up
military equipment washed into the lagoon during a huge storm in 1963.
"We ended up pulling out three drums of liquid, and we didn't even know
what it was."

Aiken described the lagoon as a longtime source of fish for his people
and associated the vast amounts of military material left over from the
Cold War with cancer cases and other diseases in Barrow.

"After the military came in in the 1940s, a lot of people started
getting sick," he said.

Aiken's story of military waste was one of several personal testimonials
presented during the first two days of a conference held to discuss the
effects of military toxins and militarization on Alaska communities.

The conference, which continues through Saturday at the Wedgewood
Resort, is sponsored by the Anchorage-based group Alaska Community
Action on Toxics. The group calls the meeting an effort to hold the
military accountable for the hazardous waste still affecting

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