provide environmentally-scientific and US-oriented strategic technical
consulting to overseas communities who are without the resources
to address these problems on their own...
1986, Congress required the Pentagon to comply with the nation's
Superfund Law CERCLA (Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation
and Liability Act) and begin its now multi-billion dollar cleanup
program to address more than 3,000 facilities domestically.
However, the particular issue that no one wanted to address was the
possibility of severe pollution at the over 1000 US military bases situated around the world...
Instead of creating a Superfund program similar to its domestic bases,
the Pentagon began to issue internal policy guidances focused on
curtailing legal liability for the problem.
1988, the number of environmental complaints by host nations in
Europe had so increased that the Congress asked the General Accounting
Office (GAO) to investigate. The resulting 1990 report indicated
that America's overseas facilities were an environmental/public
health time bomb ticking away in more than 36 countries around
there is no environmental toxic and hazardous pollution cleanup
program addressing America's active, closed and closing overseas
military bases. The Pentagon has publicly acknowledged that it
has yet to take any comprehensive surveys of bases, so the extent
of the problem remains uncharted. The result of this policy is
that millions of acres of land around the world remain contaminated
with unexploded bombs (equivalent in hazard to landmines), toxic
chemicals, and heavy metals. In addition, numerous other carcinogens,
mutagenes, and endocrine disrupters are being left unattended.
where bases are closed, this means the public is coming into greater
contact with Superfund level toxic sites as they move and build
businesses on the former military lands. The number of reports
of health problems, fatalities and environmental anomalies are
on the rise.
Until very recently, the United States has denied responsibility for
the remediation and cleanup of environmental contamination left
after U.S. military base closures. Not only does this failure to
accept responsibility create a serious threat to the health and
safety of people in those countries, but it also places an unfair
economic burden on the governments of those nations.
pollution left unchecked will continue to migrate through the permeable
soils in and around these bases, spreading their poisons and affecting
more of the natural environment over the long-term.
Ecology believes that, as Americans, we should demand that
our government practice responsible global stewardship and
take responsibility for the cleanup of these toxic sites...