2004 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: 30 Apr 2004 22:57:38 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: Vieques Cleanup
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Even with Superfund, Vieques cleanup will take years

By John McPhaul of Caribbean Business
Puerto Rico Wow
April 30th, 2004.

Once former U.S. Navy land on the island of Vieques is named a Superfund
site, determining the scope of the project and then actually cleaning
the land will take many years, said government officials.

Navy Remedial Project Manager Christopher Penny said the cleanup would
take at least a decade. He said a good model for predicting how long the
Vieques cleanup might take is the former Kaho?olawe bombing range in
Hawaii, where removing 70% of the ordnance left on the island took10 years.

In the case of Kaho?olawe, there was no cleanup of soil or subsoil, and
money was earmarked for the project up-front. In the case of Vieques,
soil and even groundwater remediation is possible, and funding could be problematic.

Gov. Calderon has requested that both Vieques and Culebra be placed on
the National Priorities (Superfund) List under the so-called
silver-bullet authority, which gives jurisdictions the onetime right to
name a site to the list without going through the cumbersome ranking
process. Bonnie Bellow, spokeswoman for the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA), said this authority makes it likely that
Vieques will be included on the list.

Paying the piper

Scott Edwards, a lawyer for the River Keepers Alliance, which sued the
Navy over its bombing practices in Vieques, said the military is
notoriously resistant to paying for the cleanup of closed bases.



Lenny Siegel
Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
c/o PSC, 278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/961-8918

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