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EPA’s Superfund Websites Can Save Veterans’ Lives


EPA’s Superfund database lists Chemicals of Concerns (COCs) and their health effects, valuable information to medical care providers. 

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Thousands of veterans and their dependents lived and worked on military installations that are now listed as EPA Superfund sites.

Internet links to Superfund websites can save lives

Former MCAS El Toro was once a proud Marine aviation base; today it is a demolished wreck. The soil and groundwater was terribly polluted over the years and many have paid the ultimate price over it. 

Veterans of this base in Southern California are spread all over the United States.  There’s no central databank to tap into for the names and the current addresses of those who served at El Toro and other Superfund sites.

Superfund is the environmental program established to address hazardous waste sites. It is also the name of the fund established by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, as amended (CERCLA statute, CERCLA overview). CERCLA was passed into law in the wake of the discovery of toxic waste dumps such as Love Canal and Times Beach in the 1970s, according to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Veterans of military installations currently on the National Priority List (EPA Superfund) need to know the contaminants of concern (COC) found on these sites and the health effects of exposure to receive proper medical treatment.  

COC’s are the chemical substances that the EPA has determined pose an unacceptable risk to human health or the environment. These are the substances that are addressed by cleanup actions at the site.

According to EPA, “Identifying COCs is a process where the EPA identifies people and ecological resources that could be exposed to contamination found at the site, determines the amount and type of contaminants present, and identifies the possible negative human health or ecological effects that could result from contact with the contaminants.”

Exposure to COC’s can cause serious medical conditions, including cancer and death. Veterans with who were stationed on an EPA Superfund installation need to share this information with their medical care provider. This is not about collecting VA disability compensation, but about helping veterans “connect the dots of serious illness” to military service and giving information to their health care providers that could save their lives.

No one in their right mind would voluntarily live and work on a Superfund site. Veterans are not provided the choice of military assignments. Many of the installations on the NPL were constructed during WW II and experienced decades of environmental contamination.

DOD has spent and continues to spend millions in the remediation of military installations on the Superfund list.  Nothing has been spent on health care screening and monitoring of veterans by either DOD or the VA.  Many veterans learn for the first time of their exposure to a COC after diagnosis with cancer.  Too often the diagnosis is late and the cancer now in stage 4 is a death sentence.    

With exception of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, DOD has no efforts to contact veterans who served on Superfund sites.  Congress required the Navy and Marine Corps to notify those who served at Camp Lejeune from 1957 to 1987 of the contaminated water wells on the base. 

EPA lists 130 military installations as Superfund sites.  There is no legal requirement to notify the veterans of the remaining 129 military installations of the COCs they may have been exposed to and their health effects.  This is not a mission impossible.  It can be done.  EPA lists the COCs and the ATSDR has identified the health effects of many of them. 

Many veterans belong to Veteran Service Organizations.  With the advent of the internet, many of the VSOs have excellent websites and most have newsletters used to communicate important matters to their memberships. 

Access to the COC’s and their health effects can easily be obtained from EPA’s Superfund website, if you know where to look and, if you know that you may have been exposed to one or more of the contaminants.

The first page of every EPA Superfund website contains a site progress profile, including important information on contamination.  Under the caption “Contamination,” a reader can quickly access all of the site’s COC’s with a hyperlink the health effects as determined by the Agency for Toxic Substances Health Registry (ATSDR), the Federal agency responsible for performing public health assessments of EPA Superfund sites.

The Veterans Administration and the Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) have the capability to establish a website hyperlink to the list of EPA Superfunds.  All it takes is the right direction from the leadership.   

EPA’s Superfund List of Military Installations

US Air Force

Air Force Plant #4 (General Dynamics) Fort Worth TX Air Force Plant 85 Columbus OH Air Force Plant PJKS Littleton CO American Lake Gardens/McChord AFB Tacoma WA Andersen Air Force Base Yigo GU Andrews Air Force Base Andrews Air Force Base MD Arnold Engineering Development Center (USAF) Tullahoma/Manchester TN Brandywine DRMO Brandywine MD Castle Air Force Base (6 Areas) Merced CA Chanute Air Force Base Rantoul IL Dover Air Force Base Dover DE Edwards Air Force Base Edwards AFB CA Eielson Air Force Base Fairbanks AK Ellsworth Air Force Base Ellsworth AFB SD Elmendorf Air Force Base Anchorage AK F.E. Warren Air Force Base Cheyenne WY Fairchild Air Force Base (4 Waste Areas) Spokane WA George Air Force Base Victorville CA Griffiss Air Force Base (11 Areas) Rome NY Hanscom Field/Hanscom Air Force Base Bedford MA Hill Air Force Base Hill AFB UT Homestead Air Force Base Homestead Air Force Base FL Loring Air Force Base Limestone ME Luke Air Force Base Glendale AZ March Air Force Base Riverside CA Mather Air Force Base (AC&W Disposal Site) Mather CA McChord Air Force Base (Wash Rack/Treatment Area)

Tacoma WA McClellan Air Force Base (Ground Water Contamination) McClellan AFB CA McGuire Air Force Base #1 Wrightstown NJ Mountain Home Air Force Base Mountain Home ID Norton Air Force Base (Lndfll #2) San Bernardino CA Pease Air Force Base Portsmouth/Newington NH Plattsburgh Air Force Base Plattsburgh NY Rickenbacker Air National Guard (USAF) Lockbourne OH Robins Air Force Base (Landfill #4/Sludge Lagoon)

Houston County GA Tinker Air Force Base (Soldier Creek/Building 3001) Oklahoma City OK Travis Air Force Base Travis AFB CA Twin Cities Air Force Reserve Base (Small Arms Range Landfill) Minneapolis MN Tyndall Air Force Base Panama City FL Williams Air Force Base Chandler AZ Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Dayton OH Wurtsmith Air Force Base Oscoda MI

US Army

Aberdeen Proving Ground (Edgewood Area) Edgewood MD Aberdeen Proving Ground (Michaelsville Landfill) Aberdeen MD Alabama Army Ammunition Plant Childersburg AL Anniston Army Depot (Southeast Industrial Area) Anniston AL Cornhusker Army Ammunition Plant Hall County NE Fort Devens Fort Devens MA Fort Devens-Sudbury Training Annex Sudbury MA Fort Dix (Landfill Site) Pemberton Township NJ Fort Eustis (US Army) Newport News VA Fort George G. Meade Odenton MD Fort Lewis (Landfill No. 5) Tacoma WA Fort Lewis Logistics Center Tillicum WA Fort Ord Marina CA Fort Richardson (USARMY) Anchorage AK Fort Riley Junction City KS Fort Wainwright Fort Wainwright AK Iowa Army Ammunition Plant Middletown IA Joliet Army Ammunition Plant (Load-Assembly-Packing Area) Joliet IL Joliet Army Ammunition Plant (Manufacturing Area) Joliet IL Lake City Army Ammunition Plant (Northwest Lagoon) Independence MO Letterkenny Army Depot (PDO Area) Franklin County PA Letterkenny Army Depot (SE Area) Chambersburg PA Lone Star Army Ammunition Plant Texarkana TX Longhorn Army Ammunition Plant Karnack TX Louisiana Army Ammunition Plant Doyline LA Materials Technology Laboratory (USARMY) Watertown MA Milan Army Ammunition Plant Milan TN Natick Laboratory Army Research, Development, and Engineering Center Natick MA New Brighton/Arden Hills/TCAAP (USARMY) New Brighton MN Picatinny Arsenal (USARMY) Rockaway Township NJ Riverbank Army Ammunition Plant Riverbank CA Rocky Mountain Arsenal (USARMY) Adams County CO Sacramento Army Depot Sacramento CA Savanna Army Depot Activity Savanna IL Schofield Barracks (USARMY) Schofield HI Seneca Army Depot Romulus NY Sharpe Army Depot Lathrop CA Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant Desoto KS Tobyhanna Army Depot Tobyhanna PA Tooele Army Depot (North Area) Tooele UT Tracy Defense Depot (USARMY) Tracy CA Umatilla Army Depot (Lagoons) Hermiston OR US Army/NASA Redstone Arsenal Huntsville AL Weldon Spring Former Army Ordnance Works St. Charles County MO West Virginia Ordnance (USARMY) Point Pleasant WV

US Coast Guard

Curtis Bay Coast Guard Yard Baltimore MD

US Navy

Adak Naval Air Station Adak AK Alameda Naval Air Station Alameda CA Allegany Ballistics Laboratory (USNAVY) Mineral County WV Bangor Naval Submarine Base Silverdale WA Bangor Ordnance Disposal (USNAVY) Bremerton WA Barstow Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow CA Brunswick Naval Air Station Brunswick ME Camp Lejeune Military Res. (USNAVY) Onslow County NC Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton CA Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station Havelock NC Concord Naval Weapons Station Concord CA Davisville Naval Construction Battalion Center North Kingstown RI El Toro Marine Corps Air Station El Toro CA Indian Head Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head MD

Jackson Park Housing Complex (USNAVY) Kitsap County WA Jacksonville Naval Air Station Jacksonville FL Marine Corps Combat Development Command Quantico VA Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany GA Moffett Naval Air Station Moffett Field CA Naval Air Development Center (8 Waste Areas) Warminster Township PA Naval Air Engineering Center Lakehurst NJ Naval Air Station, Whidbey Island (Ault Field) Whidbey Island WA Naval Air Station, Whidbey Island (Seaplane Base)

Whidbey Island WA Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek Virginia Beach VA Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station Eastern Pacific Wahiawa HI Naval Industrial Reserve Ordnance Plant Fridley MN Naval Security Group Activity Sabana Seca PR Naval Surface Warfare Center – Dahlgren Dahlgren VA Naval Undersea Warfare Engineering Station (4 Waste Areas) Keyport WA Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant Bedford MA Naval Weapons Station – Yorktown Yorktown VA Naval Weapons Station Earle (Site A) Colts Neck NJ Navy Ships Parts Control Center Mechanicsburg PA New London Submarine Base New London CT Newport Naval Education & Training Center Newport RI Norfolk Naval Base (Sewells Point Naval Complex) Norfolk VA Norfolk Naval Shipyard Portsmouth VA NWS Yorktown – Cheatham Annex Yorktown VA Parris Island Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island SC Patuxent River Naval Air Station Patuxent River MD Pearl Harbor Naval Complex Pearl Harbor HI Pensacola Naval Air Station Pensacola FL Port Hadlock Detachment (USNAVY) Indian Island WA Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Kittery ME Puget Sound Naval Shipyard Complex Bremerton WA South Weymouth Naval Air Station Weymouth MA St. Juliens Creek Annex (U.S. Navy) Chesapeake VA Treasure Island Naval Station-Hunters Point Annex San Francisco CA USN Air Station Cecil Field Jacksonville FL Washington Navy Yard Washington DC Whiting Field Naval Air Station Milton FL Willow Grove Naval Air and Air Reserve Station Horsham PA Yuma Marine Corps Air Station Yuma AZ

Robert O'Dowd

Robert O’Dowd served in the 1st, 3rd and 4th Marine Aircraft Wings during 52 months of active duty in the 1960s. While at MCAS El Toro for twoyears, O'Dowd worked and slept in a Radium 226 contaminated work space in Hangar 296 in MWSG-37, the most industrialized and contaminated acreage on the base.

Robert is a two time cancer survivor and disabled veteran.Robert graduated from Temple University in 1973 with a bachelor’s of business administration, majoring in accounting, and worked with a number of federal agencies, including the EPA Office of Inspector General and the Defense Logistics Agency.

After retiring from the Department of Defense, he teamed up with Tim King of Salem-News.com to write about the environmental contamination at two Marine Corps bases (MCAS El Toro and MCB Camp Lejeune), the use of El Toro to ship weapons to the Contras and cocaine into the US on CIA proprietary aircraft, and the murder of Marine Colonel James E. Sabow and others who were a threat to blow the whistle on the illegal narcotrafficking activity.O'Dowd and King co-authored BETRAYAL:Toxic Exposure of U.S. Marines, Murder and Government Cover-Up.The book is available as a soft cover copy and eBook from Amazon.com. See:http://www.amazon.com/Betrayal-Exposure-Marines-Government-Cover-Up/dp/1502340003.

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10 Responses to "EPA’s Superfund Websites Can Save Veterans’ Lives"

  1. Ralph A. Perez  February 24, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    I recieved a letter about LeJeune, It all made sense then. Why I have all these unexplainable illnesses. I also did my last 15 months at El Toro, I got it twice. I thought I was alone for a long time. The VA is rude, don’t give up the fight. I’m not.

  2. Candy Little  February 16, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Great story Bob, as always.
    This would help people with a pro-active approach to their own health care, I’m sure all these people would agree http://www.watersurvivors.com/victims.asp it’s the right thing to do.
    Please visit our website http://www.watersurvivors.com/discussion_group.asp
    Bob, thanks again for all you do.

  3. Edward Bryan  February 16, 2011 at 12:21 am

    Edward J. Bryan 685 Broadway St. Apt. # 74 Malden, Mass. 02148 Tel. # 781-321-3161

    October 17, 2005

    Environmental Protection Agency Office of the Inspector General
    ( 2441T ) 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. Washington, DC. 20460
    Toll Free 1-888-546-8740

    Re: Possible Tainted Drinking Water

    Dear Mr. Dare
    The list of Facts / Information from the Town of Holliston, and the surrounding towns in Massachusetts regarding Drinking Well Water and the effects of the contaminants in the drinking water supply. This is a multi-jurisdictional issue. Emergency hearings would be the first order of business to correct this problem. This document has been compiled by many Holliston Town residents, other Town residents and concerned citizens. Holliston / Massachusetts Clean Drinking Water Contacts Senator Edward M. Kennedy Julie Ryder 617-565-3170 Congressman James P. McGovern Sean Navin 508-460-9292 Tom Carpenter EPA / Washington 202-564-4885 Julie Du Ph.d. EPA / Washington 202-566-1099 Robert Varney EPA / Boston Administrator 888-372-7341 James Murphy EPA / Boston / Nyanza 617-918-1028 Preliminary meeting only on 10-14-2005. Nancy Smith EPA / Boston / Holliston 617-918-1291 Robert Golledge MA / DEP / Commissioner 617-292-5856 Martin Suuberg MA / DEP / Director Worcester 508-792-7650 Dan Hannon MA / DEP / Worcester 508-767-2822 Paul Anderson MA / DEP / Worcester 508-767- 2802 Steve Johnson MA / DEP / Boston / Nyanza 978-661-7710 David Buckley MA / DEP / Boston / Nyanza 617-556-1184 Carol Rowen West MA / DEP Toxicocologist 617-292-5510 Annie McMillan MA / DPH Cancer Registry 617-624-5607 Ann McCobb Town of Holliston Board of Health 508-429-0605 Mark Otis Corp of Engineers ( Concord, Ma ) 978-318-8895 Bill Sweet ASTDR / DPH / Senior Regional Rep. 617-918-1490 1). Chemicals in the Town’s drinking water supply. See: http://www.townofholliston.us/ check the water test results on the quality. 2). Manganese Exposure EPA and DEP are not aware of exposures. Metric Tons of this type and other chemicals in the Nyanza Dump and it does leach into ground water. Human exposure effects are the following, Ataxia, Coordination impairment, anxiety, dementia, involuntary movements, or a syndrome similar to Parkinson’s disease ( EPA-815-R-03-12 / July 2003 ), Also there are new types of cancers they are bone cancers ( Pubmed Articles ) rare type of Osteosarcomas. * Julie Du and others said there is no health effects from Manganese it is natural accuring in the United States, we just did Manganese in 2003 and they said it wouldn’t be looked at anytime soon. Did the EPA and DEP make a big Mistake on their calculations. See: ATSDR ( FY 1999 ) Profile and Annual Report on neurotoxic or other health effects of substances such as zinc, manganese, lead, and chlordane. There were 11 studies done by the Minority Heath Professions Foundation ( MHPF ) and no report was done on neurotoxic effects and bone cancers, what happened ? * Nine Mile Run, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. A 244-acre inactive slag disposal area and exposure to Manganese and other chemicals, is this a common problem of exposures through out the United States around Hazardous Waste Sites ? * The Massachusetts Cancer Registry reported that 5 Osteosarcomas ( rare cancer ) are in Holliston and less than <5 are in surrounding towns. The 1 / 100,000 doesn’t apply in this case. Megans medical doctor said that their wouldn’t be another Osteosarcoma in more than 25 miles from her home, but they are all in Holliston and its surrounding towns. * The new cancer update will be reported out in November 2005 from the MA / DPH on the Nyanza Chemical Site. Holliston should update their epidemiology so we can find out what streets these cancers are on from the MA / DPH. * The Manganese levels in Holliston are in excess to 300% or .001 mg/L, and 6800% or 3.4 Mg/L, and 12,200% or 6.1 mg/L is very high above the SMCL. They should be below .05mg/L. * Mistakes clearly overlooked in the health effects on Manganese are, Iron and other chemicals in the drinking water supply. Just look at complaint numbers 7, 8 & 9 from the EPA and the DEP sources. Also look at the water quality reports, they tell the story. * Well # 6 is only 62’ deep and other wells in Holliston are only 80-100 feet deep ? They should be ( 350’ – 1000’ ) below bedrock for better yielding. Ground water 10-100 feet will give cross contamination. See: DEP, Private Well Guidelines ( Pump Types for deep wells ). See EPA/ROD/R01-85/013 ( Record of Decision ) 1985 pgs. 1-5 site location and Description on the difference of the aquifers ? and sludge is leaching into ground water from the Nyanza Chemical Dump. 3). Iron was another mineral in excess. The town of Holliston is not aware of the health effects from excess iron in drinking water. 4). Casella Waste Management transfer station is next to well # 6, the chemical run-off into the ground water. The ( DEP ) Permit number for operation is Mar05B935. Casella Waste Systems, Holliston, Ma. Transfer Station. 115 Washington Street. Holliston, Ma. 01746. * 1.7 Millions of pounds of hazardous trash is in a residential community every day. * See Holliston’s Dirty little Secret on Video, focus on the pennies and you will get the idea. Sent with complaint. 5). Nyanza Chemical Dump ( The Big Monster ) two mile north of Well # 2 And Well # 4. High in Manganese and other toxic materials. No testing is being done south of Nyanza and the DEP says they don‘t care where the chemicals go after they leave Nyanza. 6). The EPA and The DEP report that there are two different aquifers. Other “ people argue ” their could be one. There could be contamination into other sub-surface “ cracks: / faults, known sub-surface ”, “ upper granite cracks ” in Holliston Bird site area, conduit from many monitoring wells in Nyanza area and Holliston Casella area are causing cross contamination. 7). The seven towns effected by subsurface contamination into drinking water aquifers are, Ashland, Holliston, Framingham, Sherborn, Southborough, Medway and Millis. The exposures are as follows, A). 143 Hazardous Waste Sites. B). 538 Oil Sites. C). 681 Total Sites 8). Just Holliston’s aquifer alone has many exposures they are as follows, according to the DEP waste sites, A). 19 Hazardous Waste Sites B). 25 Oil Sites C). 44 Total Sites. 9). The EPA has Regulated the sites in Holliston Ma. Why are there conflicting reports with the EPA and the DEP ? A). 52 Hazardous Waste sites. B). 14 Oil Sites C). 66 total sites. 10). Most of testing on water quality is done ten ( 10 ) feet down in this region. Most of the testing in this region should be done at least 500’ – 1000’ for well water drinking test. 12). Dogs and cats have many different cases of cancers. 13). There is Teeth Discoloration from high levels of Manganese concentration in the general population. 14). There is1960 style Industrial Sites in this region, they should be updated to the present time. 15). Abbess Instruments 583 Winter St. and Harvard Apparatus of New Englander Park are not on the EPA’s Envirofacts sheet or MA / DEP as of October 13, 2005. All hazardous companies should be on record for public health records and fire department reports. 16). There seems to be another problem I cannot put my finger on. This Gyroscope ( Beryllium ) metal. The companies seem to have other addresses and P.O. Boxes, so the public cannot find them. How to remedy this Emergency situation, 1). The residents in this aquifer system need clean bottled water to drink until the problem is remedied. 2). A total Clean up of all Hazardous waste sites around drinking wells is needed to stop the Pollution 100% in this area. 3). The Town of Holliston needs to Find out exactly where the Manganese, Iron and other chemicals are coming from. 4). Install Mwra Pipes / Title 5, or relocate wells for safer drinking water and go deeper into aquifers. 5). The Local hospitals need to keep better records on cancer and where they are coming from. 6). A Panel from surrounding towns ( Multi-town Study ) with the EPA, DEP, DPH, Board of Healths, Community Residents and concerned citizens. 7). Compare the Chemicals from Nyanza and all the Wells in the Holliston and surrounding towns Aquifer systems for comparison. 8). Have the EPA and the MA / DEP records reflect the true waste sites. 9). All Hazardous sites should be on a report with the local Board of Health and Fire Department. Linking chemicals to health and diseases, 1). Manganese – Central Nervous System and Bone Cancers. 2). Cancer rates from DPH ( 5 ) rare bone cancers from Holliston and less than five in surrounding towns, the numbers are too high in this aquifer system. 3). The Epidemiology Study should be up dated for the town of Holliston A.S.A.P. Megan says “ I don’t care where the chemicals are coming from, just clean it up ! ” Edward J. Bryan

    The drinking wells are only 60 feet down, when they should be at least 700 or 1200 feet down in the earth.

  4. Rilla Surber  February 15, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    Maybe it’s my eyesight today, but you folks forgot to list an Army site: FT. McClellan, Alabama. The various colored Agents were stored and used there as well. I saw it there in 73-74.

    • Robert O'Dowd  February 16, 2011 at 4:53 pm

      Rilla,

      I don’t doubt what you saw but the latest check of EPA’s Superfund sites showed that Ft. McCellan is not on the National Priority List (NPL). Here’s what’s listed on the EPA Superfund database as of today:

      Site Name: USA FT MCCLELLAN PELHAM RANGE
      Street: HIGHWAY 431 SOUTH
      City / State / ZIP: FORT MCCLELLAN, AL 362055000

      NPL Status: Not on the NPL
      Non-NPL Status: Other Cleanup Activity: Federal Facility-Lead Cleanup

      EPA ID: AL8213700000
      EPA Region: 04
      County: CALHOUN

  5. Rilla Surber  February 15, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    Maybe it’s my eyesight today, but you folks forgot to list an Army site: FT. McClellan, Alabama. The various colored Agents were stored and used there as well. I saw it.

  6. Texas Vet  February 15, 2011 at 12:49 am

    Good post, Bob

  7. John Hartung  February 14, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    Thanks Bob, You can’t know how many soldiers don’t know that thier sick from these toxins. I’m sick from the water at Camp Lejeune. I run the website http://www.lifeaftercamplejeune.com For more information go see it. Thanks John

  8. Aline T. Crane  February 14, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    ……WHAT CAN I DO?-Send this website to other veterans-Put a link to it on your my space -Create your own website See Googles FREE blog -Ask your VSO American Legion VFW Marine Corps League etc to support disclosure of contaminants health effects to veteransWRITE TO PEOPLE IN GOVERNMENT OR YOUR LOCAL NEWSPAPER Representatives Senators …..

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