Toxic plume of pollution from military base poisoning groundwater, dairy farm…and more

Click to enlargeDon J. Usner/Searchlight New Mexico

Art Schaap and some of 4,000 dairy cows on his farm in Clovis, New Mexico. He has to kill all of them.

❝ For months, Clovis, New Mexico, dairy farmer Art Schaap has been watching his life go down the drain. Instead of selling milk, he is dumping 15,000 gallons a day – enough to provide a carton at lunch to 240,000 children. Instead of working 24/7 to keep his animals healthy, he’s planning to exterminate all 4,000 of his cows, one of the best herds in his county’s booming dairy industry.

The 54-year-old second-generation dairy farmer learned last August that his water, his land, his crops – even the blood in his body – were contaminated with chemicals that migrated to his property from nearby Cannon air force base…

❝ “This has poisoned everything I’ve worked for and everything I care about,” Schaap said. “I can’t sell the milk. I can’t sell beef. I can’t sell the cows. I can’t sell crops or my property. The air force knew they had contamination. What I really wonder is, why didn’t they say something?”

❝ There is plenty the air force could have said. It has for decades been aware that PFAS chemicals are toxic to humans, animals and the environment. By 2000, industry scientists and the Environmental Protection Agency had meticulously documented that they persist in the environment for millennia. They are linked to cancer, liver damage, thyroid disease, lowered immunity and high cholesterol, among other serious health problems.

They have poisoned the groundwater at 121 military bases across the US…

Read the stinking details. Please. The Pentagon, Federal Government, State Governments – have all known about the danger and like all tidy criminals didn’t do a damned thing about it. Civilians, urban and rural alike, have had to sue the military every time this crap comes up to get any compensation.

The ideology of a permanent warfare state demands that civilians matter least, the military and whatever they say they need is the highest priority in these United States.

3 thoughts on “Toxic plume of pollution from military base poisoning groundwater, dairy farm…and more

  1. Heads up says:

    “Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) identified communities in five states, where they plan to test for human exposure to per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Those are the same chemicals that contaminated the groundwater below Cannon and Holloman Air Force bases. …But New Mexico isn’t on the list of five states where testing will occur.”
    CDC Press Release 2/21/19: “CDC/ATSDR to Assess PFAS Exposure in Communities Near U.S. Military Bases”

  2. Update says:

    (The Hill 3/5/19): New Mexico sued the U.S. Air Force on Tuesday over water contamination, arguing that the federal government has a responsibility to clean up leftover plumes of toxic chemicals, according to an Associated Press report.
    Regulators say that groundwater at the Cannon and Holloman air bases is contaminated with chemicals known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, according to the AP.
    New Mexico alleges that the contaminated water poses “an immediate and substantial danger” to surrounding communities, according to the AP. The air bases reportedly affect water basins which serve thousands of people.
    PFAS have been found at dozens of bases and manufacturing sites across the country, prompting the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to say it will roll out a plan to limit the cancer-causing chemicals.
    Democrats have accused the EPA of dragging their feet on implementing PFAS limits in drinking water. There are currently no enforceable drinking water standards related to the chemicals. (see links)

  3. p/s says:

    Veterans and their families are grappling with the military’s toxic legacy : ten percent of Superfund sites are military installations that are increasingly vulnerable to climate change (Grist 3/6/19)
    Also: The Union of Concerned Scientists also studied water samples from 131 U.S. military sites and found that a majority contained PFAS levels up to 100 times above what the ATSDR report identified as a safe amount.

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