|From:||Larry Menkes <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
|Date:||Sun, 24 Feb 2019 19:04:53 -0800 (PST)|
|Subject:||[CPEO-MEF] The Bucks/Montgomery County C8 Experience|
This is a huge crisis, both nationally and internationally. It's interesting to see how this was handled in Sweden (see: Intercept "Poisoning the Well" by Sharon Learner). As a founding member of my township's Environmental Advisory Council, I've watched our local awakening and struggles at close range. I am not surprised that the government is failing us.|
According to Politico, the EPA won't regulate PFAS or pursue formal standards for a class of toxic chemicals found in America's drinking water.
According to Judith Enck, a former regional EPA administrator, "EPA's inability to act beyond issuing a plan is a reminder that every state in the country needs to establish state-level drinking water standards." Regarding the EPA's latest intentions announced on the 21st, "People in polluted communities deserve so much more than the EPA announced today."
As a result I penned this editorial to our local papers on Friday. It will take a lot of action to turn this around but there are enough victims among us to do the job. This isn't my first try, but I'll be stepping it up. I hope others will continue to step it up and act out in their communities.
IS THE EPA PLAYING US FOR FOOLS?
February 28th, will mark the third anniversary when firefighting foam sprang to life in a SPECIAL REPORT on the front page of local papers. The top of page one shouted: “Unclear and uncertain DANGER”, announcing a water crisis in Bucks and Montgomery Counties that continues unabated. The latest headline accuses the EPA of spinning wheels.
In 2015, the department of the Navy posted a small notice for a public information session set during workdays regarding contamination at the Willow Grove Navy Base in Horsham and the Johnsville Naval Air Warfare Center in Warminster. We locals were used to this. We all knew the bases were Superfund Sites. And it’s a 25 minutes drive to the Horsham library from Warminster.
Less than a week later my wife nearly died from a thyroid disorder. Last week she finally finished at Moss Rehabilitation. It could take her at least a decade to adjust to the Traumatic Brain Injury that occurred from her thyroid. That her father died from a Gastric Lymphoma while working at Johnsville continues to freak her out. I’ve got bladder cancer. We’ve got many sick friends and neighbors.
As an A-10 Warthog flies, and firefighting foam seeps, only 3 miles separate the bases. Both bases have tested at the highest levels in the nation.
This has long been known, and artfully hidden from the public. The earliest concerns date to reports from Dupont in 1954. More than a decade ago the National Fire Prevention Association’s Committee on Firefighting Foam stated that consumption of PFOA’s and PFOS’ was a death warrant.
Although the EPA lowered its “advisory” limit to 70 parts per trillion (ppt) Harvard University’s Chan School of Public Health said their research showed that the level should be 1 ppt. Leading researcher, Richard Clapp, spoke at the only meeting held in Warminster; sponsored by the Township’s Environmental Advisory Council. He told us that New Jersey’s limit of 14 ppt was closer to what was needed but still inadequate.
If we stop being mesmerized by the EPA’s, Navy and DoD’s spinning wheels we’ll realize that we’re being played for fools. Veterans have taken the brunt. Government strategy has been out of the same playbook that they use for Traumatic Brain Injuries. They used it against Agent Orange claims, PTSD, shell shock, and a host of other veteran issues. But Firefighting foam is one of the most difficult chemicals to deal with, and THEY KNOW IT. The reason for stalling is COST. Done correctly it will cost the Fed trillions of dollars just to help veterans, people, their families, and their animals. The longer they wait, the more of us will move away due to aging, many will continue to suffer, some of us will die.
Our answer now lies at the state level. We need to actively support Senate and house bills like Tom Murt’s (co-sponsored by Madelaine Dean and others) to set a 5 ppt. limit for PA. The Delaware Riverkeeper Network (DRN) submitted a similar petition for rulemaking to the Environmental Quality Board (EQB).
Mike Fitzpatrick counseled me when I started working on this. For legislators to act in our behalf we must continue to act. This is OUR crisis. WE determine the outcome. We’ve done pretty well so far. All our local legislators, Governor Wolf and Senator Casey are on our side. WE, the people, just need to step it up. It’s our water, our health. Over 80,000 local residents and many Veterans are depending on what we do. Let’s end spinning wheels.
Larry Menkes CSBA
CEO Veterans Green Jobs Initiative
We find good green jobs for wounded warriorsWarminster, PA USMM Vietnam 1967
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