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

The collapsing US military & economic empire is making Washington & NATO even more dangerous. US could not beat the Taliban but thinks it can take on China-Russia-Iran...a sign of psychopathology for sure.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Military toxics poisoning us all

 

The Environmental Working Group has compiled a map of military bases and installations impacted by toxic PFAS contamination. This of course is happening at Pentagon war bases all over the world as well.  


Thousands of farms warned about toxic PFAS from military bases; no fix in sight


CLOVIS, New Mexico (SBG) — A Spotlight on America investigation is providing new insight into the scope of per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination that's impacting farmland across the country.

Public information requests reveal contact information for more than 50,000 farmers was handed over to the Department of Defense so the military could make notifications about an invisible enemy that could threaten their livelihoods. And a recently released report to Congress shows thousands of agricultural operators have already been contacted by the DoD about the toxic, man-made chemicals that may have leaked beyond base fences.

When Art Schaap built a sprawling dairy farm in Clovis, New Mexico, back in 1992, he envisioned it would one day fund his retirement. But in 2018, he got shocking news that changed everything.

Schaap was notified that an invisible enemy had seeped into his groundwater, impacting his cows, tainting their milk and devastating his business.

    There's peoples' lives that have been ruined because of this," dairy farmer Art Schaap told Spotlight on America. "They've basically poisoned our lives.


The 'poison' Schaap is referring to is a toxic set of man-made chemicals known as PFAS. These so-called 'forever chemicals' that are tough to break down in the environment are known to have links to cancer, effects on the immune system and other health problems in humans.

In Schaap's case, records show the chemicals seeped into the groundwater from his neighbor, Cannon Air Force Base. The installation is among the hundreds of military bases nationwide that have long used toxic firefighting foam containing PFAS chemicals. Over time, those chemicals leaked onto Schaap's property, with an underground plume impacting his groundwater according to state records. And because of the contamination, he says has to dump about 12,000 gallons of milk a day. All of it, Schaap says, has been rendered useless because of PFAS contamination.

 

Hundreds of dead cows lay piled up in two areas of Art Schaap's dairy farm, waiting to be composted


The Department of Defense has long been aware of the problems associated with PFAS. Since 2019, Spotlight on America has been reporting on its efforts to deal with the issue, with numerous environmental groups and federal lawmakers criticizing their inaction. The discussion has mostly centered around contamination on bases, with the initial focus on protecting the drinking water consumed by military families. But the larger clean-up beyond that is a massive undertaking that experts predict will cost taxpayers billions of dollars and take as long as 30 years.

That monumental undertaking is only related to the cleanup inside the fences of military installations across the United States. But what about farmers whose property has been invaded by that same invisible enemy who also have to deal with the impact?

See more on this story here 

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