America’s longest war, Afghanistan, recently came to an abrupt end but the problems left behind are just beginning. Over the course of two decades, the US military has operated in country establishing and maintaining several bases, air fields and facilities, or adding new ones. As part of these facilities, hangars and other areas utilized the same fire suppression equipment and chemicals found on almost 700 bases within the United States: aqueous film-forming foams containing PFAS.
In most discussions in the media regarding Camp Lejeune water contamination, often the focus is given only to 4 core chemicals – TCE, PCE, benzene and vinyl chloride. While these were prevalent in extraordinary amounts in the groundwater and soil for decades at Lejeune, they are not the only chemicals that were found. According to the EPA, there were many more (at varying levels) determined as site contaminants and published as part of the original EPA Superfund listing.
The following video features a press conference and conversation with Jon Mitchell about the extent of military contamination in Japan and tools used to uncover and shed light on the story. Jon Mitchell is a Special Correspondent for Okinawa Times and an Award Winner of FCCJ’s Freedom of the Press Lifetime Achievement Award. He is also chief contributor to our Okinawa section and esteemed member of the Civilian Exposure Journalist Advisory Board.
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Moffett Naval Air Station in California is a 1,500-acre site located in Moffett Field, California. Moffett Field is located 35 miles south of San Francisco and approximately 1 mile south of San Francisco Bay in Santa Clara County, California. It was purchased in 1931 for one dollar, according to records, and was commissioned in 1933 as a naval air station to support a “lighter-than-air” (LTA) program (“Moffett Federal Airfield” – GlobalSecurity.org 2012). In 1991, Moffett Field was recommended for closure under the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process.