It is a subject that is taboo in many circles…especially military circles. But the fact is, there are many Department of Defense installations that are currently open or have been closed because of the Base Realignment and Closures (BRAC) that require huge cleanup operations.
As an expatriate living in Puerto Rico, I am often in discussions with natives about what messes the United States Navy left on Vieques island after they left it in 2001. The island was used for live training in the World War II era, and many remnants were left as a result.
People from Vieques protested when they discovered contaminates all over their island. Vieques is an island of Puerto Rico, and the government did finally listen and put the island on the Superfund list for cleanup.
While Vieques is being cleansed, I am writing this post to the administration that we need to make this an even larger priority. There are contaminants left in many areas from military presence. I believe we need a strong military, but we also need a military that cleans up their messes.
In today’s post, I am going to yell to the Department of Defense, the United States Army and the other military branches of the United States about cleaning the contaminants. I truly believe that by writing this and posting it, more citizens will look at this major issue which will “push” our government to make sure clean-up operations are happening.
I just want to explain how much I do know about military messes. Several years ago, I worked for a construction company in Nebraska. We were contracted for a job at the Air Force base in Bellevue, Nebraska. The same base where Strategic Air Command (SAC) is located.
As we tore into the ground to install drain pipe (I was operating a front-end loader), we noticed heavy amounts of anti-freeze in and on the dirt we were moving. I asked if we should tell someone, and I was told to just do the job. To be straight, that stuff was just buried in the dirt.
That chemical will work its way into waterways at some point. It should have been pulled up and discarded of properly, but instead, it is there forever.
So how many other locations are like this?
August Busch Conservation Area
I would take my Grandson fishing to this site near St Louis, Missouri. It was once a storage area for TNT and DNT and was used for uranium ore processing. The Army cleaned this site up and the fish we caught from there are edible. Yes, I did eat them!
So clean up can be done if it is managed correctly.
Super Fund Sites
There is a huge list of sites that the EPA has deemed for cleanup for environmental reasoning. Some of these were from military presence.
Here is a list of sites that I implore the government pushes for clean up:
I could go on and on. There are so many sites that need cleaning. Not all are military, as there have been corporations guilty of polluting the environment too.
I suggest you visit this link to view the super fund sites in your State or location.
Many of these were done before the military and the Department of Defense realized just what was being done. That is no excuse to leave it as it is, though.
How do you feel about this subject? Do you believe that the taxpayers should be responsible in “footing the bill” for the clean-up operations?
This is a strong debate, so I ask you to be respectable to anyone who disagrees with your opinion. The only way we can fix these issues is to work together.
Let’s clean the contamination for the next generations!