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U.S. Military World’s Largest Polluter – Hundreds Of Bases Gravely Contaminated

美军是世界上最大的污染者 - 数百个基地严重污染

MINNEAPOLIS– Last week, mainstream media outlets gave minimal attention to  the news that the U.S. Naval station in Virginia Beach had spilled an  estimated 94,000 gallons of jet fuel into a nearby waterway, less than a mile  from the Atlantic Ocean. While the incident was by no means as catastrophic  as some other pipeline spills, it underscores an important yet little-known  fact – that the U.S. Department of Defense is both the nation’s and the  world’s, largest polluter.

Producing more hazardous waste than the five largest U.S. chemical companies  combined, the U.S. Department of Defense has left its toxic legacy throughout  the world in the form of depleted uranium, oil, jet fuel, pesticides,  defoliants like Agent Orange and lead, among others.

U.S. military bases, both domestic and foreign, consistently rank among some  of the most polluted places in the world, as perchlorate and other components  of jet and rocket fuel contaminate sources of drinking water, aquifers, and  soil. Hundreds of military bases can be found on the Environmental Protection  Agency’s list of Superfund sites, which qualify for clean-up grants from the  government.

Almost 900 of the nearly 1,200 Superfund sites in the U.S. are abandoned  military facilities or sites that otherwise support military needs, not  counting the military bases themselves.

“Almost every military site in this country is seriously contaminated,” John  D. Dingell, a retired Michigan congressman and war veteran, told Newsweek in  2014. Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina is one such base.  Lejeune’s contamination became widespread and even deadly after its  groundwater was polluted with a sizable amount of carcinogens from 1953 to  1987.
密歇根州前议员同时也是老兵的John D.  Dingell,在2014年如此对《新闻周刊》说:“国内几乎每个军事用地都污染严重。”北卡罗来纳州杰克逊维尔市的勒琼基地就是例子,在1953到1987年间,该基地的污染日益严重,被大量致癌物污染的地下水甚至是致命的。

Between 1946 and 1958, the US tested 66 nuclear weapons  near Bikini atoll. Populations living nearby in the Marshall Islands were  exposed to measurable levels of radioactive fallout from these tests. (Map:  National Cancer Institute)

However, it was not until this February that the government allowed those  exposed to chemicals at Lejeune to make official compensation claims.  Numerous bases abroad have also contaminated local drinking water supplies,  most famously the Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa.

In addition, the U.S., which has conducted more nuclear weapons tests than  all other nations combined, is also responsible for the massive amount of  radiation that continues to contaminate many islands in the Pacific Ocean.  The Marshall Islands, where the U.S. dropped more than sixty nuclear weapons  between 1946 and 1958, are a particularly notable example. Inhabitants of the  Marshall Islands and nearby Guam continue to experience an exceedingly high  rate of cancer.

The American Southwest was also the site of numerous nuclear weapons tests  that contaminated large swaths of land. Navajo Indian reservations have been  polluted by long-abandoned uranium mines where nuclear material was obtained  by U.S. military contractors.

One of the most recent testaments to the U.S. military’s horrendous  environmental record is Iraq. U.S. military action there has resulted in the  desertification of 90 percent of Iraqi territory, crippling the country’s  agricultural industry and forcing it to import more than 80 percent of its food.  The U.S.’ use of depleted uranium in Iraq during the Gulf War also caused a  massive environmental burden for Iraqis. In addition, the U.S. military’s  policy of using open-air burn pits to dispose of waste from the 2003 invasion  has caused a surge in cancer among U.S. servicemen and Iraqi civilians alike.


Four-year-old Alla Saleem, who suffers from a tumor in  her eye, lies on her bed as she waits for medication Monday, January 15,  2001, at the Gazwan Children’s Hospital in the southern Iraq town of Basra,  about 60 kilometers (37 miles) from the border with Kuwait. Iraqi authorities  claim that about 300 tons of bombs with depleted uranium were used by the  allied forces during the Gulf War bombing campaign, and this is responsible  for the increase of cancer cases in the area. According to Doctor Jawal  Al-Ali, chief cancer consultant of the Basra teaching hospital and member of  the Royal College of physicians in London, the cases have multiplied by 12  since 1991. (AP/Enric Marti)
2001年1月15日,一名罹患眼部眼部肿瘤的4岁女孩躺在Gazwan儿童医院的病床上等待治疗,这家医院位于伊拉克南部的巴士拉,距离科威特边境60公里。伊拉克官方称在海湾战争期间,联军在轰炸过程中使用了超过300吨的贫铀弹,导致该地区癌症发病率增加。据巴士拉教学医院首席癌症顾问和伦敦皇家医学院成员Jawal Al-Ali博士指出,发病数量自1991年以来增加了11倍(美联社/ Enric Marti)

While the U.S. military’s past environmental record suggests that its current  policies are not sustainable, this has by no means dissuaded the U.S.  military from openly planning future contamination of the environment through  misguided waste disposal efforts. Last November, the U.S. Navy announced its  plan to release 20,000 tons of environmental “stressors,” including heavy  metals and explosives, into the coastal waters of the U.S. Pacific Northwest  over the course of this year.

  The plan, laid out in the Navy’s Northwest Training and Testing Environmental  Impact Statement (EIS), fails to mention that these “stressors” are described  by the EPA as known hazards, many of which are highly toxic at both acute and  chronic levels.

The 20,000 tons of “stressors” mentioned in the EIS do not account for the  additional 4.7 to 14 tons of “metals with potential toxicity” that the Navy  plans to release annually, from now on, into inland waters along the Puget  Sound in Washington state.