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.
The Honoring our PACT Act, which addresses burnpits exposures for thousands of veterans, also included several other provisions for a variety of toxic military contamination issues. Notably, the PACT Act included the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. The new legislation provides the ability for those impacted by Camp Lejeune contaminated drinking water to pursue claims and legal recourse previously unavailable to victims
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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The Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base site covers 125,000 acres in San Diego County, California. The base provides housing, training, logistical and administrative support for the Fleet Marine Force units. Past disposal practices have contaminated the groundwater and soil. In an initial investigation, the Marine Corps found nine areas of contamination. Waste generation operations at this site include maintenance and repair of vehicles (trucks, tanks, and aircraft); landfill operations; waste disposal areas, such as scrap yards; and fire fighting drill areas. The base contains wetlands, streams, and rivers which feed into the Pacific Ocean. This land is the only remaining undeveloped area between Los Angeles and San Diego.