2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: uxogypfy@bellsouth.net
Date: 18 Jun 2003 15:16:34 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: Re: [CPEO-MEF] Danger Underfoot
I remember the first person who stood up to and before the county
commissioners (at that time) and stated that their children would never step
foot into and upon the land of Camp Bonneville.  The 'fantasy' plan of the
commissioners at the time were addressed as such-a regional park attended by
families and children with the danger of UXO's and a nearby firing range was
ludicrous to the masses.  I remember vividly sitting before newly elected
county commissioner who compared UXO's to firecrackers (Clark County had a
'rough year' with firework injuries).

The Army has wasted 6 million plus dollars since the BRAC designation for
Camp Bonneville.  This money was 'spent' on contractors and pencil pushers.
The Army was made aware in 1990 to assess the groundwater under Camp
Bonneville. Those who follow these issues knows this is a major issue for
such sites and such an issue should be addressed promptly.   Would any
groundwater specialist care to give a ballpark figure of how many monitoring
wells could be in place with 6 million plus dollars?

One word comes to my mind as I read this article and that is the audacity of
local government officials believing they can do a 'better job' then those
who work around ordnance and knows the dangers of such.  I would like to
believe that local governments 'can do a better job' but the facts prove
otherwise-they struggle with time and manpower just taking care of local
government business and issues that they are 'suppose' to know and
understand.  From the minutes I receive weekly from the Clark County
Commissioners, they are up to their necks with serious local issues that
they can hardly keep up with.  I'm wondering who and where they are going to
find people and time to manage such a serious undertaking of explosives and
groundwater contamination (does Hanford and the polluted Columbian come to
anyone's mind and how that is [or isn't as the case may be] being

Should the Army stay involved and be liable?  I believe that would be the
responsible and accountable thing to do since they are the ones that 'made
the mess (an old song I've been singing for years)' but I believe it's time
to call the Army's 'bluff' and all the other military branches-was it EVER
your intention to clean up Camp Bonneville or any other BRAC/FUDS site?
Based on wasting 6 million plus dollars on contractors and pencil pushers on
Camp Bonneville, I believe the facts speak for themselves.

----- Original Message -----
From: "CPEO Moderator" <cpeo@cpeo.org>
To: <cpeo-military@igc.topica.com>
Sent: Monday, June 09, 2003 10:19 AM
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Danger Underfoot

> Washington
> By Erin Middlewood
> Sunday, June 8, 2003
> Danger underfoot: Unexploded munitions at Camp Bonneville fuel debate
> over its suitability to be a park
> PROEBSTEL -- Christine Sutherland grew up watching troops and tanks
> barreling into Camp Bonneville.
> "It was a way of life here -- the booms, the explosions, the men,"
> Sutherland recalls. "It was exciting."
> Now that she's raising her family in the same rural area north of Camas,
> the mother of two sees it differently.
> Sutherland worries about what the U.S. Army left behind when it closed
> the training camp in 1995, and who will find it.
> Under plans for the Army to turn the land over to Clark County for a
> regional park, the place where soldiers trained to kill may soon become
> a place where families go to frolic.
> For 80 years, soldiers fired rockets, grenades and other munitions into
> the hillside at the 3,840-acre base. Some of that artillery didn't blow
> up. It awaits the slightest disturbance by a tent spike or a curious
> child's hand to explode.
> "Today I'm not confident it will be truly a safe park under the
> direction it's going," Sutherland said. "I just wouldn't let my children
> go there."
> Experts say there's no assurance a cleanup effort would get rid of all
> of the hazards. What's known as UXO -- unexploded ordnance -- has killed
> at least 67 civilians in other places around the country, in some
> instances years after the military left. Sutherland and others fear
> similar accidents could happen here.
> Even if left undisturbed, the munitions can be dangerous because they
> corrode and leak toxic chemicals. Fuel, pesticides, solvents and other
> hazardous waste also pollute the wooded acreage.
> After years of work, the Army and environmental regulators still don't
> know the extent of pollution at Camp Bonneville. It's possible they
> won't have that answer before the Army transfers the base to Clark
> County, which may happen as early as October.
> Though the county would be bound by a cleanup order issued to the Army
> by the state Department of Ecology in February, the Army would put up
> the money. The Army also pledges to pay for a yet-undetermined level of
> liability and cost-overrun insurance.
> Army and county officials say those safeguards will protect Clark County
> taxpayers from a multimillion-dollar tab.
> Sutherland and others on an advisory board overseeing Camp Bonneville's
> restoration are skeptical.
> "As it stands," said Ian Ray, a neighbor and an advisory board member,
> "I wouldn't get into any deals."
> This article can be viewed at:
> http://www.columbian.com/06082003/front_pa/44349.html
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