2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 30 Apr 2003 21:09:18 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Unexploded munitions in U.S.
Commentary: Unexploded munitions in U.S.
By Jacqueline Macdonald
For United Press International
_From the Think Tanks & Research Desk
Published 4/28/2003 6:15 PM

WASHINGTON, April 28 (UPI) -- Unexploded bombs, tank and artillery
shells, and other munitions that are scattered around Iraq as a result
of this year's war and the 1991 Gulf War remain a hazard to Iraqis and
coalition forces. But, unknown to many Americans, unexploded munitions
pose a hazard right here in the United States as well.

In fact, as the United States continues to close military bases made
obsolete by the end of the Cold War, we face what some fear may become
the largest environmental cleanup program ever in the nation's history.

Last summer for example, an unexploded shell containing the potentially
deadly chemical phosgene was found in an Alabama farm pasture just a
short distance from a family's home. It turns out that unbeknownst to
the family, they built their home on a former artillery range that was
part of a now-closed World War II-era chemical weapons training base.

Near-tragedies of this sort are extremely rare, but they underscore what
could be a growing problem unless Congress can move forward a stalled
effort to cope with the multiple hazards posed by unexploded munitions
found at firing ranges on about half of the nation's closed military

The unexploded munitions not only pose an obvious explosion risk, but
the chemicals and heavy metals in the ordnance can leach into drinking
water supplies of nearby communities. At one installation, the
Environmental Protection Agency ordered the military to halt all of its
live-fire training because explosives were leaching off a training range
into local water wells.

This commentary can be viewed at:

  Prev by Date: [CPEO-MEF] The Poison of Ignorance
Next by Date: [CPEO-MEF] Hearing on DOD overhaul bill trumps readiness markup
  Prev by Thread: [CPEO-MEF] The Poison of Ignorance
Next by Thread: [CPEO-MEF] Hearing on DOD overhaul bill trumps readiness markup

CPEO Lists
Author Index
Date Index
Thread Index