Monday, September 20, 2021

Play

The U.S. ramps up expulsion of Haitian migrants from the Texas border, and a new report looks at the economic impact of imposing restrictions on reproductive health.

Play

The U.S. military apologizes for a drone strike that killed 10 Afghan civilians, the Justice for J6 rally in Washington draws few, the CDC says it will help public health departments, and France recalls its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia.

Play

Lawsuits stall debt relief for America's Black farmers; Idaho hospitals using "critical care" protocols; grant money boosts rural towns in Utah and more conservation acreage could protect the iconic sage grouse.

DOD Sued for Burning Toxic Chemicals

Play

Friday, February 21, 2020   

ALBANY, N.Y. - The Pentagon is being sued for quietly contracting to burn millions of gallons of foam containing toxic chemicals at incinerators around the country, including here in New York.

The unused firefighting foam contains PFAS, a class of chemicals now so persistent in the environment they're called "forever chemicals." PFAS, which has been found in the drinking water in Hoosick Falls and Newburgh, New York, has been linked to a number of serious health conditions, including cancer.

According to Jonathan Kalmuss-Katz, a staff attorney at the environmental law firm Earthjustice, the incineration has already begun.

"This was shipped to the Norlite kiln in Cohoes," says Kalmuss-Katz. "But there was no public announcement, no local awareness, and even (the Department of Environmental Conservation) and (the Environmental Protection Agency) were kept in the dark."

The lawsuit charges that the incineration violates the National Environmental Policy Act or NEPA, and the National Defense Authorization Act.

Kalmuss-Katz notes that NEPA requires federal agencies to examine the environmental consequences of their actions before approving them, as well as public disclosure of any environmental or health impacts.

"Here, there was no NEPA review," says Kalmuss-Katz. "DOD rushed into these contracts without looking at the impacts on the surrounding communities, and really put large amounts of people at risk without ever considering the chemicals they were going to be exposed to."

He adds that the National Defense Authorization Act contains a specific provision regulating the incineration of PFAS.

Facing lawsuits and potentially billions in liability for releases of PFAS in firefighting foams used at bases around the country, the Department of Defense chose to incinerate its unused stock. But as Kalmuss-Katz points out, PFAS was used in the foam precisely because it doesn't burn.

"When you send that foam to the incinerator, you not only end up with the risk of PFAS coming out of the stack, but also hazardous chemicals that are produced by incomplete combustion," says Kalmuss-Katz. "So, it poses a serious threat to the surrounding community."

The lawsuit asks the court to annul the contracts for incinerating PFAS and to require the DOD to conduct the environmental studies it should have done before burning the chemicals.


get more stories like this via email

This, year the theme of Sea Otter Awareness Week is the species' key role in the mosaic of the ecosystem. (Wikimedia Commons)

Environment

MONTEREY BAY, Calif. - This week, conservation groups are celebrating Sea Otter Awareness Week with online and in-person events across the state…


Environment

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Admission to any state park in Nevada is free this coming Saturday, as part of the first Nevada Public Lands Week - with a series …

Social Issues

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A new Redistricting Advisory Council announced last week by Gov. Tom Wolf's office will focus on reducing gerrymandering as new …


The Nature Conservancy says the U.S. loses nearly 1 million acres of forest lands each year through development and other factors, reducing nature's ability to capture and store carbon dioxide. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

DULUTH, Minn. - As Minnesota looks to address the impact of climate change on the region, land managers and policymakers are reminded of the role …

Health and Wellness

By Savanna Strott for Eye on Ohio, The Ohio Center for Journalism Broadcast version by Emily Scott for Ohio News Connection. COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio …

According to the CDC, around 181 million Americans have received COVID-19 vaccinations. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- One in five unvaccinated Kentuckians say they are open to getting the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a new poll from the …

Health and Wellness

HELENA, Mont. - It can be hard for people with disabilities to afford the assistive technology they need to perform daily activities. A program in …

Social Issues

LA CONNER, Wash. - The exhibit of an artist who depicted the lives of farmworkers in northwest Washington has been recognized for its quality…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021