Oct 27, 2010

"Bombs in Our Backyard" Excerpt Shown at Corcoran Gallery of Art

Last week at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Spring Valley resident Ginny Durrin presented a rough cut of her film about the munitions that were tested and buried at American University during World War I. “I’ve been filming ever since the story of a neighborhood in distress first broke,” Durrin said. “The cleanup has taken 100 times as long as putting the chemicals in the ground there in the first place” ... Durrin said she must raise about $100,000 to complete her movie.
Northwest Current
October 27, 2010: pg. 12

Through the incorporation of archival footage, local news coverage, and interviews with Spring Valley residents and army and government officials, “Bombs in Our Backyard” raises questions about government culpability and social and environmental responsibility while shedding light on a growing cause for concern: as many as 200 other Formerly Used Defense Sites exist elsewhere in America ... “Bombs in Our Backyard” is a clarion call to activists, environmentalists, and thoughtful, engaged citizens the world over.
Bombs in Our Backyard

Oct 21, 2010

Former Ft. Detrick Employee Says Bio Weapons Were Released in DC

FREDERICK, Md. (WUSA) -- A former Ft. Detrick employee says biological weapons were released into the air and the unsuspecting public was exposed. She says it happened in Washington, DC, during the Cold War. Dottie Blank, 77, says she worked as a secretary at Ft. Detrick from 1955 to 1989 ... She says members of the military would expose people in public to biological diseases.

"They called them the suitcase samplers," she said. "They would go down to DC, or where the train is, and they would use whatever they had mixed up and they would just sort of walk through like a regular person that was getting a train and they would let that out into the atmosphere." She says the diseases were known to make people sick, but not cause death. She says they would test the air to see how far the chemical traveled ...

Blank has Leukemia. She says Ft. Detrick has been providing her bottled water for years because chemicals were found in her water at home. She says she believes her illness was caused by chemicals from Ft. Detrick.
October 21, 2010

Oct 4, 2010

EPA Braces for Pushback on Proposed Perchlorate Standard

A government official briefed by the EPA told The Associated Press on Thursday night that the agency has proposed that the chemical, perchlorate, be regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act ... In 2008, under President George W. Bush, the EPA decided against regulating the chemical, saying that setting a federal standard would do little to reduce risks to public health. That decision angered environmentalists and Democratic lawmakers. The Pentagon and EPA have tussled over the issue for years, with the Pentagon potentially facing liability if the standard were to force water agencies around the country to undertake costly cleanup efforts.
Associated Press

September 30, 2010

But EPA's initial foray toward using its Safe Drinking Water Act authority against perchlorate is only the first step in a lengthy process that begins at the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), an arm of the Office of Management and Budget where federal agencies and private-sector interests weigh in on the economic impact of potential new rules ... While [University of Maryland law professor Rena Steinzor] greeted EPA's movement on perchlorate with "a big round of applause," Steinzor said she would view OIRA review of the chemical with "a sense of foreboding ... because EPA has encountered such vehement resistance from federal polluters," which could face high cleanup bills. Perchlorate contamination is estimated to be present in the drinking water of at least 35 states and the District of Columbia.
New York Times

October 4, 2010
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