Pentagon Fights EPA On Pollution Cleanup

The Defense Department, the nation’s biggest polluter, is resisting orders from the Environmental Protection Agency to clean up Fort Meade and two other military bases where the EPA says dumped chemicals pose “imminent and substantial” dangers to public health and the environment.

The Pentagon has also declined to sign agreements required by law that cover 12 other military sites on the Superfund list of the most polluted places in the country. The contracts would spell out a remediation plan, set schedules, and allow the EPA to oversee the work and assess penalties if milestones are missed.

The actions are part of a standoff between the Pentagon and environmental regulators that has been building during the Bush administration, leaving the EPA in a legal limbo as it addresses growing concerns about contaminants on military bases that are seeping into drinking water aquifers and soil.

Under executive branch policy, the EPA will not sue the Pentagon, as it would a private polluter. Although the law gives final say to EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson in cleanup disputes with other federal agencies, the Pentagon refuses to recognize that provision. Military officials wrote to the Justice Department last month to challenge EPA’s authority to issue the orders and asked the Office of Management and Budget to intervene.

Experts in environmental law said the Pentagon’s stand is unprecedented.

“This is stunning,” said Rena Steinzor, who helped write the Superfund laws as a congressional staffer and now teaches at the University of Maryland Law School and is president of the nonprofit Center for Progressive Reform. “The idea that they would refuse to sign a final order — that is the height of amazing nerve.”

Pentagon officials say they are voluntarily cleaning up the three sites named in the EPA’s “final orders” — Fort Meade in Maryland, Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida and McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey.

Fort Meade borders residential areas in fast-growing Anne Arundel County; Tyndall and McGuire are in less-populated regions. At all three sites, the military has released toxic chemicals — some known to cause cancer and other serious health problems — into the soil and groundwater.

But the EPA has been dissatisfied with the extent and progress of the Pentagon’s voluntary efforts.

“Final orders” are the EPA’s most potent enforcement tool. If a polluter does not comply, the agency usually can go to court to force compliance and impose fines up to $28,000 a day for each violation.

Read morePentagon Fights EPA On Pollution Cleanup

Low Sperm Counts and Deformed Penises: The Chemical Industry Has a Hold on Your Reproductive Future

By Joshua Zaffos, Colorado Springs Independent
Posted on June 26, 2008

From car seats to condoms, nasty compounds have invaded our lives.
Hormones are going haywire, and our human future is at risk.

I am half the man my father is.

This disturbing fortune came to me about five years ago, but not from an odd relative or a sadistic girlfriend. Instead, this dinner-table diagnosis came from Theo (short for Theodora) Colborn, an internationally known scientist who has helped develop the field of research exploring how chemical compounds interfere with the hormones that guide human development.

Known as endocrine disruption, chemicals found in computer screens and car seats, shower curtains and shampoo, plastic water bottles and prophylactics are skewing our odds against cancers and causing developmental delays and reproductive roadblocks, including declining sperm counts.

So, when Colborn informed me of my inferior manhood, I took consolation in the fact that she was indicting my entire generation — and her own — for loading our natural environment, our workplaces and our homes with tens of thousands of chemical compounds without really having a clue about what we’re doing. Our Stolen Future, the book Colborn co-authored in 1996, first delivered this bad news to the general public.

More than a decade later, scientists are still conducting experiments and measuring results, from cramped basement labs at universities to expansive high-country lakes in the wilderness. The hypotheses generally aren’t questions of whether chemicals are pervading and persisting in the environment, but rather how severely they are stunting our development and health. The federal government has investigated these questions with timidity, if not contempt, operating a regulatory system practically beholden to the chemical industry.

With half of my manhood at stake and hopes for a better assessment in the future, I’m wondering how we can heed the warning signs and reverse our chemical course.

A day in my half-life

For years, I started off each day drinking coffee out of a metallic cup, likely coated with bisphenol-A, a chemical commonly used to line plastic bottles and other food and beverage cans and containers. Anyone who has lugged around a Nalgene bottle made of polycarbonate plastic, trying to save the Earth one paper cup at a time, has gotten his or her share of bisphenol-A, which leaches from containers into liquids to enter our bodies. A U.S. Centers for Disease Control study detected bisphenol-A in 93 percent of all Americans.

Inside us, bisphenol-A mimics estrogen, plugging into hormone receptors; this is endocrine disruption. In pregnant or breastfeeding mothers and young and prepubescent children, it can have critical impacts, rewiring our developmental profiles and opening up our risks for cancers and physical and behavioral abnormalities. Lab tests suggest that chronic, low-dose exposure to bisphenol-A — like drinking out of a coated cup or polycarbonate bottle daily — may cause women to have greater chances of breast cancer and polycystic ovary syndrome, a leading cause of infertility, and men to have increased odds of prostate cancer and reduced sperm counts.

That’s a lot to think about during the day’s first cup of coffee or sip of water. Now I try to stick to ceramic mugs and glasses.

As my body starts to properly caffeinate in the mornings, I usually sit in front of a laptop and do whatever it is writers do to put off writing — checking e-mails and boxscores — until I’m warmed up. As a computer warms up, particles inside start to fly and some catch a ride on dust. For years, I breathed in polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) from my laptop.

These compounds are flame-retardants, nearly universally used in couch cushions, televisions, cars and carpets. PBDEs have similar chemical structures to thyroid hormones, and, according to lab tests, they can lower our bodies’ production of the real thing.

Over time, thyroid-hormone deficiencies can hurt metabolism. Hypothyroidism causes fatigue, depression, anxiety, hair loss and a waning libido. Women with low thyroid-hormone counts are five times more likely to have children with IQs that qualify them as mildly retarded, according to one study. A 2005 experiment found that a single low dose of a common PDBE given to rats in utero resulted in a class of hyperactive rodents with persistent low sperm counts.

Read moreLow Sperm Counts and Deformed Penises: The Chemical Industry Has a Hold on Your Reproductive Future

Water Restoration Act May Lead to Privatization of Water Supply

(NaturalNews) The fate of the nation’s water supply is under debate as hearings in the House and Senate begin on the Water Restoration Act of 2007. Opponents claim this Act threatens to greatly expand the Federal Government’s roll in water management. This Act would define waters of the U.S. as “all interstate and intrastate waters and their tributaries, including lakes, rivers, streams (including intermittent streams) mudflats, sand flats, wetlands, sloughs, prairie potholes, wet meadows, playa lakes, natural ponds, and all impoundments of the foregoing”. In other words, this bill will give the federal government total control of the most basic of all commodities necessary to life on this earth.

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers currently have authority over all waters considered navigable in the U.S. The Code of Federal Regulations 33 CFR 329.4 defines navigable waters as “those waters that are subject to the ebb and flow of the tide and/or presently used, or have been used in the past, or may be susceptible for use to transport interstate or foreign commerce.”

The Water Restoration Act, a bipartisan bill lead/sponsored by Congressman Oberstar, is an amendment to the Federal Water Pollution Act, commonly known as the Clean Water Act. Since major amendments were enacted in 1977, the Clean Water Act protected all of the nation’s waters as Congress intended, until 2003, when the Bush administration gave in to pressure form corporate polluters and redefined the meaning of water. This happened through a bureaucratic device called a ‘guidance’, whereby the EPA instructed federal environmental law enforcers to back off from holding many polluters accountable.

Proponents of the Clean Water Restoration Act see it as restoring what was Congress’s original intent, that the Clean Water Act protect all of the nation’s waters. They see water quality and quantity issues as needing examination this spring, and believe now is the time for getting legislation to protect the water supply in order with the passage of this Act. They see the Act as offering needed protection from water pollution, from terrorists, and being in the interests of national security.

Is water a basic human right or a commodity?

Related article: UN rejects water as basic human right
Actually this should cause a global outrage and a revolution
. – The Infinite Unknown

Under the Public Trust doctrine, the government is prohibited from converting something such as water to the status of a commodity. Water is considered a basic human right that must remain in the public trust, meaning that it is so important to our survival that it should never be reclassified as a commodity. Many believe that the Water Restoration Act lays the foundation for removing water from the Public Trust and facilitating it to fall under the ownership and control of corporations as a commodity. This is similar to how seeds have fallen into corporate control when they were once viewed as part of the Public Trust under the assumption that all people have a right to seeds with which to grow food for themselves.

Commodity owning corporations can now sue the government if it acts in any way to prevent them from making profits they believe they are entitled to. This ability to sue for impaired profit making can be the result of environmental regulations, of Federal laws which may prevent the corporations from hiring illegal workers, or issues of eminent domain in which an individual’s land stands in the way of corporate earnings, and the courts have not acted to protect the interests of the corporation.

All the corporation has to do to supersede federal law is claim ‘trade illegal’ provisions of NAFTA and CAFTA. Federal laws and regulations are then put aside, along with property rights. CAFTA goes a long way in establishing the privatization of water supplies, including in-land navigated waters and the right to use and access the water supplies.

Federal control over all water may lead to its privatization

If the federal government is unable to gain total control of all water from whatever source, it is highly unlikely that water can be taken from the status of Public Trust and changed to that of commodity. If in fact the Water Restoration Act allows for the complete control of the federal government over all water in the country, as it opponents claim, water can loose its status as part of the Public Trust, and become a commodity available for corporate ownership.

The Water Restoration Act federalizes all inland and coastal waters from any source. This Act is needed to set the stage for the corporate privatization guaranteed under CAFTA, and would effectively convert the entire water supply from any source into the status of a commodity.

Read moreWater Restoration Act May Lead to Privatization of Water Supply

California Begins Poisoning Millions with Toxic Synthetic Fluoride Chemicals

Related articles and videos:
Health Professionals Call for End to Water Fluoridation
Over 1,600 Professionals Call for an End to Fluoridation of Drinking Water

Professional Perspectives: Fluoride in Tap Water

Fluoride, Aspartame and Agenda 21

David Icke on Aspartame, Fluoride,…

(NaturalNews)Fluoride is now being added to the water systems of Los Angeles and San Diego, in spite of the substance’s classification as a toxin by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Fluoride refers to any compound made with the element fluorine, one of the most reactive elements known. Because fluorine reacts easily with other chemicals, it is widely used in industrial applications such as metal manufacture, glass, ceramics, Teflon, pesticide, rat poison and the manufacturing of nuclear weapons.

The EPA limits the fluoride content of water to four milligrams per liter, and suggests 0.8 milligrams per liter as the optimum concentration. But the National Academy of Sciences’ National Research Council has said that 10 to 20 years of exposure to 10 to 20 milligrams of fluoride per day may result in “crippling skeletal fluorosis.” At the EPA’s maximum concentration, this could be achieved by drinking less than three liters of water per day.

Because fluoride builds up in the body, longer exposure to lower levels of fluoride can lead to the same effects.

In spite of early studies implicating fluoride as a toxin, the United States began adding it to public water supplies in the 1940s. Fluoridation of Southern California’s water supply was discussed and defeated by citizen opposition in 1966, 1968 and 1975. But in the late 1990s, Los Angeles began adding fluoride to the water. San Diego’s Metropolitan Water District followed in December 2007.

Water fluoridation has been controversial from its inception, with critics pointing out that while dental associations claim that fluoride strengthens tooth enamel on contact, adding the substance to water exposes people on a systemic level.

A number of studies have linked ingestion of fluoride to neurological and skeletal effects, including causing brain and thyroid damage and bone cancer in adolescent boys. Recent research has found a number of fluoride compounds to be endocrine disruptors, which mimic the body’s hormones with the potential for serious reproductive and developmental harm.

Sunday, June 15, 2008
by: David Gutierrez

Source: Natural News

The Pentagon Is America’s Biggest Polluter

The nation’s biggest polluter isn’t a corporation. It’s the Pentagon. Every year the Department of Defense churns out more than 750,000 tons of hazardous waste — more than the top three chemical companies combined.

Yet the military remains largely exempt from compliance with most federal and state environmental laws, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Pentagon’s partner in crime, is working hard to keep it that way.

For the past five decades the federal government, defense contractors and the chemical industry have joined forces to block public health protections against perchlorate, a component of rocket fuel that has been shown to effect children’s growth and mental progress by disrupting the function of the thyroid gland which regulates brain development.

Perchlorate has been leaking from literally hundreds of defense plants and military installations across the country. The EPA has reported that perchlorate is present in drinking and groundwater supplies in 35 states. Center for Disease Control and independent studies have also overwhelmingly shown that perchlorate is existent in our food supplies, cow’s milk, and human breast milk. As a result virtually every American has some level of perchlorate in their body.

Currently only two states, California and Massachusetts, have set a maximum allowable contaminant level for perchlorate in drinking water. But the EPA won’t follow these states’ lead. In the Colorado River, which provides water for over 20 million people, perchlorate levels are high. The chemical is most prevalent in the Southwest and California as a result of the large number of military operations and defense contractors in the region.

Read moreThe Pentagon Is America’s Biggest Polluter

US: Raw sewage is continuously released into rivers, streams

America’s aging sewer systems continue to dump human waste into rivers and streams, despite years of fines and penalties targeting publicly owned agencies responsible for sewage overflows, a Gannett News Service analysis shows.

The analysis of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data found that since 2003, hundreds of municipal sewer authorities have been fined for violations, including spills that make people sick, threaten local drinking water and kill aquatic animals and plants.

Local governments across the USA plan to spend billions modernizing failing wastewater systems — some of which are more than 100 years old — over the next 10 to 20 years, EPA, state and local sewer authority officials said.

(If any disaster happens in your area you will have no drinking water. Store a lot of food and water.
I have also highly recommended to have a water filter and there are a million good reasons for that. – The Infinite Unknown)

Read moreUS: Raw sewage is continuously released into rivers, streams

US infrastructure is falling apart

The basic infrastructure all of us depend on every day – including aviation, highway, public transit and rail – is falling apart and needs a proper flushing, if we could find a public water system that worked properly.

That pretty much sums up a depressing report issued today by the congressional watchdogs at the Government Accountability Office today on the state of the US infrastructure. Not only are the problems large, but some of the solutions, such as increased taxes, vehicle usage fees, airline passenger levies as well as adding tolls on highways are as controversial and they would be painful.

And then there are the problems. “For example, demand has outpaced the capacity of our nation’s surface transportation and aviation systems, resulting in decreased performance and reliability. Furthermore, as we recently reported, federal surface transportation programs are not effectively addressing key challenges, such as congestion, because the federal goals and roles are unclear, many programs lack links to performance or needs, and the programs often do not employ the best tools and approaches. In addition, water utilities are facing pressure to upgrade the nation’s aging and deteriorating water infrastructure to improve security, serve growing demands, and meet new regulatory requirements.

Given these types of challenges and the federal government’s fiscal outlook, it is clear that the federal government cannot continue with business as usual, ” the GAO said.

Read moreUS infrastructure is falling apart

EPA might not act to limit rocket fuel in drinking water

An EPA official said Tuesday there’s a “distinct possibility” the agency won’t take action to rid drinking water of a toxic rocket fuel ingredient that has contaminated public water supplies around the country.

Democratic senators called that unacceptable. They argued that states and local communities shouldn’t have to bear the expense of cleansing their drinking water of perchlorate, which has been found in at least 395 sites in 35 states – or the risk of not doing so.

The toxin interferes with thyroid function and poses developmental health risks, particularly to fetuses.

Benjamin Grumbles, assistant administrator for water at the Environmental Protection Agency, told a Senate hearing that EPA is aware that perchlorate is widespread and poses health risks.

Read moreEPA might not act to limit rocket fuel in drinking water

Gore Used CG Video To Hype Climate Crisis

Al Gore’s widely discredited film “An Inconvenient Truth” that falsely hypes the threat of global warming has now been further discredited. ABC News has discovered that Gore used computer generated footage in his documentary that was taken from the 2004 natural disaster film “The Day After Tomorrow” to fraudulently emphasize the global warming threat. If global warming is such a dire threat to us, why would Gore need to use computer generated footage in the documentary to justify his point? The bottom line is that Gore’s film is based off of lies in order to scare the public into believing that man made carbon emissions are the cause of all of the planet’s environmental problems. Gore ignores scientific data that indicates solar activity is the real cause for planetary warming. Mars and other planets have also experienced rising temperatures the same time that warming has been reported on Earth. So unless man is on other planets emitting carbon, it is clear that solar activity is the cause for the planetary warming. Gore also ignores the fact that this past winter saw record snowfalls and record low temperatures in various parts of the world which indicate that this warming cycle might be coming to an end. Gore’s theories simply don’t add up, but that doesn’t stop him from attempting to recruit a green army of 10 million useful idiots to help him push this agenda. Instead of tackling real environmental problems like chemicals being dumped in oceans, the disappearance of the bees, genetically modified foods, the mixing of human and animal DNA and chemicals being sprayed in the air, Gore would prefer to tackle a problem that isn’t real. This makes Gore a phony environmentalist and he has positioned himself to profit greatly off of this scam. Gore is nothing more than a propagandist who is hyping this phony doomsday scenario so the global elite can justify implementing a planetary carbon tax which will be used to enslave humanity.

The following blurb is taken from ABC News.

Al Gore’s “traveling global warming show,” the award-winning documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” includes a long flyover shot of majestic Antarctic ice shelves. But this shot was first seen in the 2004 blockbuster “The Day After Tomorrow.” Sculpted from Styrofoam and later scanned into a computer, the ice shelf “flyover” looks real.

Karen Goulekas, the special effects supervisor for “The Day After Tomorrow” said the shot is a digital image. She was glad Al Gore used it in the documentary since “It is one hell of a shot.” Both movies use the shot to convincingly portray global warming, but it is left to the audience to decide if this created image can both entertain and educate us about our changing planet.

This is blatant fraud on the part of Gore and more proof that his film is nothing more than propaganda designed to misdirect people’s legitimate environmental concerns towards something that helps their goal of a global carbon tax. It is entirely dishonest for Gore to be using computer generated video footage in a documentary that is supposed to be based off of facts. Gore is using this footage to exaggerate his phony claims.

Read moreGore Used CG Video To Hype Climate Crisis