Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

With a new administration in Washington it will be a challenge to get the 'liberals' to hold Biden-Harris to the few 'progressive promises' they made during their campaign. Biden is bringing back many of Bush & Obama's neo-cons to head his foreign policy. I'll be on this case without hesitation.

Monday, March 04, 2019

Toxic military pollution is killing us....

Art Schaap, owner of Highland Dairy in Clovis, New Mexico is planning to kill all 4,000 of his cows because seven of his 13 wells have been contaminated by toxins that entered the groundwater at nearby Cannon Air Force base. (Photo: Courtesy of Farm Journal)

Wisconsin State Farmer journal reports:

Art Schaap, owner of Highland Dairy in Clovis, New Mexico is facing a unique kind of devastation. He’s dumping 15,000 gallons of milk each day, had to let his 40 employees go and plans to kill all 4,000 of his cows because seven of his 13 wells have been contaminated by toxins called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that entered the groundwater at nearby Cannon Air Force base.

Last summer, Schaap learned about the substance that would turn his life upside down. Not only were his cows and calves impacted, but Schaap himself has eight to 10 times the normal levels of PFAS in his blood stream. And his wife is likely facing the same fate.

“This has poisoned everything I’ve worked for and everything I care about,” Schaap told New Mexico Political Report. “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?”

The Department of Defense has disclosed 121 installations where groundwater has been impacted by PFAS.

In addition the military has contaminated much of the US with Perchlorate.  The toxic substance is often found in lettuce and cow's milk.

Perchlorate, the explosive main ingredient of solid rocket and missile fuel, can disrupt the thyroid gland's ability to make essential hormones. For fetuses, infants and children, disruptions in thyroid hormone levels can cause lowered IQ, mental retardation, loss of hearing and speech, and motor skill deficits.

Perchlorate, most of it leaking from military bases or defense plants, contaminates more than 500 drinking water supplies in at least 20 states, serving well over 20 to 40 million people. Among major Perchlorate-polluted sources is the Colorado River, which is used to irrigate 1.4 million acres of cropland in California and Arizona. Officials have found Perchlorate in 319 wells in California.

In a recent letter I received from Maine's Republican Senator Susan Collins about these military pollution epidemics she wrote:

....the DOD identified 401 active or closed military installations with known or suspected releases [of PFAS] .....The FY18 NDAA established and provided a $7 million authorization to conduct a nationwide health study on the impacts of PFAS in drinking water. The FY19 NDAA authorized an additional $10 million for this effort and included provisions which create a path forward towards the creation of a national database for service members and veterans who experience health issues as a result of PFAS contamination.  
Recognizing the enormous scale of the contamination in the US and at Pentagon bases overseas it is pretty obvious that $17 million to 'study the problem' is chump change.  It's not a serious effort and I think the reason is quite obvious.


The Pentagon and Congress do not want to alarm the public that the military is killing us while claiming to be protecting us.  They don't want to make a big deal about it because people would be quite rightly outraged and demand these bases be closed!  The public would demand compensation and clean-up - something Washington is not interested in doing.  It's just like the Agent Orange denials for so many years.

Maryland-based activist Pat Elder has been working on this issue for some time and is currently touring parts of the nation (The Million Parts per trillion Tour) in order to alert the public about these contamination zones at military bases.  He is one of the few in the nation working on this cancer-causing issue.

Be sure to click on the links in this post to learn more and help spread the word.  Rarely does this information make it into the mainstream media.

Bruce 

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