Before I barf, first, a little mood music from an appropriate group:I want you to cryyyy…I want you to cryyyyyy…I want you to waa-waa-waa, waa-waa-waa, cryyyyyy…Ahem. Now, the news…
Ahem. In plain English, that means that yes, Vieques IS contaminated, as the locals have been saying all along. And it also means that no, Uncle Sam won’t be doing shit about it yet again. “Monitoring” is not cleaning up, it’s sitting on one’s hands and waiting to see how many kids turn up with birth defects, how many people come down with rare cancers, immune disorders, etc. And yes, I’m sure they will see something turn up:
The federal agency that assesses health hazards at sites designated for Superfund environmental cleanups said Friday that it had reversed its conclusion that contamination at a former United States Navy training ground in Puerto Rico posed no health risks to residents.As a result, it said, it plans to recommend monitoring to determine whether residents of the island of Vieques, the site of decades of live fire and bombing exercises, have been exposed to harmful chemicals and at what levels.“Much has been learned since we first went to Vieques a decade ago, and we have identified gaps in environmental data that could be important in determining health effects,” Dr. Howard Frumkin, director of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, said in a statement posted on the agency’s Web site late Friday afternoon. “The gaps we found indicate that we cannot state unequivocally that no health hazards exist in Vieques.”
“…heavy metals and explosive compounds found in Vieques’s soil, groundwater, air and fish did not pose a health risk.”In what strange parallel universe would that be the case? Oh, of course…that would be BushCo’s! Science, as we know, isn’t in the Bible, so for them, none of this is real.And of course, the Puerto Rican health department’s findings don’t count. Why? Because it’s full of Puerto Ricans, duh!And you wanna know the punchline? Well,
In a finding in 2003, the agency had said that levels of heavy metals and explosive compounds found in Vieques’s soil, groundwater, air and fish did not pose a health risk.The action on Friday is a vindication of the 9,300 residents of the small island off the mainland of northeastern Puerto Rico, who are pursuing claims against the United States government for contamination and illnesses. Puerto Rico’s health department has found disproportionately high rates of illnesses like cancer, hypertension and liver disease on the island. In their claims, residents assert that the illnesses are linked to pollutants released in Navy exercises that continued until 2003.
So, the EPA orders them to clean it up, and the navy goes in and blows it up. Meaning, that shit gets scattered far and wide! Thanks, Navy! Git ‘er done!Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go do just what the song says, and waa-waa-waa.
The Environmental Protection Agency has said hazardous substances associated with ordnance may be present in Vieques. In 2005 the training ground was designated a Superfund site, giving the E.P.A. the authority to order a cleanup by the Navy.The Navy has begun removing hazardous unexploded munitions from its old training ground, but its practice of detonating them in the open air has sowed more fear among residents.