2005 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: 17 Feb 2005 23:12:57 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: Re: [CPEO-MEF] Army considers some DU testing at Jefferson ProvingGround
I visited the Jefferson Proving Ground (JPG) about three years ago, and
I entered what appeared to be the depleted uranium impact area. I
remember that clearly because my hosts showed me a DU penetrator
half-embedded in a tree.

When the Army tested uranium weapons at JPG, it fired them in near
horizontal trajectories along narrow, clearly defined, still visible
openings in the woods. Most of the uranium, therefore, was deposited in
relatively small areas.

Thus, while it might be prohibitively expensive to clear unexploded
ordnance so ALL the uranium can be removed from JPG, it may be
cost-effective to clear a large enough area so MOST of the uranium can
be removed.

Unfortunately, Army officials have always posited JPG cleanup as an all
or nothing choice. That, because it would be impractical and/or
prohibitively expensive to clear the entire range or the entire area
where uranium weapons were deposited, they have argued that nothing can
be done.

In fact, the Army's Base Environmental Coordinator told me that the Army
had made a decision years earlier not to clean or clear any portion of
the impact area because it would cost billions of dollars, require
"strip mining" of vast areas, and endanger cleanup crews. Since then I
have made numerous inquiries, but I have not found any documentation of
that decision. In fact, I have been unable to learn who made the
decision, or under what authority it was made.


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
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