As you read this piece...please remember that we all live in a country of choices...you can either use your authority to help your neighbors...OR...you can just 'look the other way!"
I moved to where I live now...about a mile from this chemical dump by the Air kForce, just east of the VA Medical Center, and If I would have known about the chemical dump and the ten-year fight between the state of New Mexico, and the federal government (Air Force), I would have never moved into the neighborhood. I would have found someplace else to live.
For those of you around the country and around the world, who may not be familiar with Albuquerque, New Mexico, I will try to put it on the map for you. Albuquerque is a city with about 500,000 in population and is centrally located in the state of New Mexico, which is located in the southwestern part of the United States.
I compare the chemical dump at Kirtland AFB, with the tragedy that happened at the Love Canal in the 1970's, which the worst man-made disaster in United States history. IT COULD HAPPEN HERE...AND IT COULD HAPPEN WHERE YOU LIVE, TOO...AND IT DOESN'T HAVE TO COME FROM JET FUEL...IT COULD COME FROM A FACTORY OR MANUFACTURING PLANT...
Because of the inept city government of Niagara Falls, (NY) and the enept government of the state of New York...the reseidents in that state were not listened to about the risks at the Love Canal...and President Jimmy Carter had to get involved, and pull over 1,000 families from the dangerous Love Canal. This was the only man-made disaster in history, that got federal funds, as opposed to natural disasters like hurricanes; tornadoes, etc.
In a five-month period, from June, 2010 to November, 2010, there were 5 articles published in the Albuquerque Journal, and this is the first time I was aware of the problem. Because I can't publish all the articles here, because they are too lengthy...I decided to publish only the headlines and an important paragraph within each article. That way, the reader can get familiar with what's going on here, and the same thing that is happeing here in Albuquerque...could happen in your part of the country...so the reader can probably lear something from what's going on here, and how the problem is eventually resolved...IF it is ever resolved...or the drinking water is just contaminated!
Below are the five artice headlines that were published in the Albuqerque Jounal. These are all snapshots (bits and pieces) of the full articles;
- June 19, 2010; the headline reads;
"Base Plan Cleans Up Jet Fuel" Sub-title reads;
"Kirland Plan Cleans Up Fuel Using Pumps'
"The Air Force on Friday submitted plans for some two dozen pumps to suck jut fuel out of the ground beneath Kirtland For Force Base and the surrounding neighborhoods as an interim step shile long-term cleanup plans for the massive underground contamination are developed." Continued...
- July 28, 2010; The headline reads;
"Air Force Proposes 23 Monitor Wells"
"In a recent meeting with the Jounal's Editorial Board, Col. Robert Maness, who took over command at Kirtland AFB, acknowledged that 'aggression' had been lacking in the Air Force's previous handling of the spill, and pledged to push forward to deal with the issue." Continued...
- August 7, 2010; The headlines read;
"State: Fuel Clean-up Too Slow" Sub title reads;
"Air Force Plan Called Inadequate"
"State officials Friday said the Air Force proposal to deal with a massive Kirtland AFB jet juel spill is 'unacceptable' and that quick action is needed to deal with what the state calls 'a significant threat to human health. In 2007, they discovered that it had reached ground water, and was moving toward drinking water wells operated by the Albuquerque Bernalillo county Water Authority, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Air Force. Experts say the threat to drinking water is not emminent. " Continued...
- October 11, 2010; Headlines read;
"Kirtland AFB Submits plans on Fuel Spill"
Sub headlines read; "State Says Air Force Isn't
Aggressively Treating Fuel Leak"
"The state also expressed its frustration that the Air Force has yet to dig up the contaminated soil arond the fuel loading rack where the leak originated. The letter directs the Air Force to begin work by Oct 6 (2010) and finish excavation within a year. The state also complained that the Air Force's voluminous plans for dealing with the problem were padded out hundreds of pages of outdated boilerplate ablut Kirtland environmental programs that had nothing to do with the jet juel spill and had 'little value', according to the letter." Continued...
- This article appeard on November 22, 2010 and
was the headline on the Front Page of the
Albuquerque Journal. It is entitled: "KAFB Steps
Up Clean-Up of Fuel Spill" "State Complained
Efforts Too Slow"
"A pile of contaminated dirt at the old jet fuel loading area is a sign of stepped up efforts by the Air Force, under pressure from state and local officials, to deal with a massive spill threatening Albuquerque's drinking water. The recently completed excavation, done as old leaky fuel pipes were removed from the ground during construction of a new fuel depot, is the first of a series of new steps being taken after the New Mexico Environment Department complained earlier this year about the slow pace of work on the spill. But, whether the plans will be enough to satisfy state redulators remains to be seen." Continued...
Could this chemical dump at Kirtland AFB be the beginning of another Love Canal of the 1970's?
For those of you who are not familiar with the tragedy of the Love Canal in the 1970's in this country...can simple google 'love canal' on your computer, and you'll find a wealth of information regarding one of America's worst man-made disasters!
I think that matter is so serious, that it deserves that attention of the people in the highest offices in the government. One reason for this, is because of the make-up of the city of Albuquerque itself. Albuquerque is about 500,000 population as noted earliar. and I think the southeast section of Albuquerque, is the most densly populated. There are three bases in this quadrant; two hospitals; one community college (27.000 students); the airport; VA Hospital on the base; the University of News Mexico is down the street about 4 miles with a student population of over 30,000;
I call it raising awareness, and over the last few months, I've gathered up all this information such as the articles in the newspaper, and I have mailed to some of the highest office-holders in the state of New Mexico which include;
- Federal judges; there are seven federal judges in Albuquerque;
- The delegation of New Mexico; two Senator's and
on US House member from District 1;
- The Mayor of the City of Albuquerque;
- City Council members which total seven (7);
- The Bernalillo County Manager;
- Bernalillo County Commissioners there are five (5)
- The City Publilc Saftey Director
- City Administrator
- The City/State Health Department
- The Environment Department both City and State;
- The Bernalillo County/city Water Authority;
- State Engineer's office;
- Kirtland AFB Commander;
- Kirtland AFB Community Ralations Director
- CEO's of two of the hospitals in the area;
- President of the Chamber of Commerce.
I sent the following letter to Susana Martinez, who will be the next governor of New Mexico, and the first woman govenor of the state of New Mexico. She will also be the first Hispanic governor in the history of the United States. During the past 13 years, she has been the District Attorney for the southern city of Las Cruces, and she knows the law and where she has had the staying power.
The letter goes like this;
November 22, 2010
Sasana Martinez, District Attorney;
201 Pichao St., Suite B
Las Cruces, New Mexico 88005
CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR RECENT WIN FOR GOVERNOR! ALL THE CITIZENS ARE SO PROUD OF YOU...AND WE ALL KNOW THAT YOU WILL DO THE RIGHT THINGS...
As you take command of the State of New Mexico for the coming year in 2011, I think this matter deserves your highest attention...and I think the state of New Mexico and the federal government (Air Force) are both dragging their feet in this serious matter of the fuel-leak/chemical dump at Kirtland AFB, NM., and putting the residents at risk, etc.
I mailed you the information concerning the chemical dump at Kirtland AFB about a month ago (9-10), and I can send the information to again if need-be. The Albuquerque Journal published five articles on this serious matter, and it says that the fight between the state of New Mexico and the federal government (Air Force) has been going on for over TEN years which is a disgrace, and there doesn't seem to be much progress at this time, as the Air Force continues to drag its feet, and the state of New Mexico seems to be powerless.
It is my wish and hope, that you and the Attorney General of the state of New Mexico get involved in this dangerous and complex problem, before the Kirtland AFB chemical dump is turned into another Love Canal of the 1970's...whereby all the complaints of the residents to the city and state fell of deaf ears...and President Carter had to get involved and move over 1,000 families from the Love Canal. We CANNOT let that happen here...and that's why this matter is so urgent, and deserves your highest attention! The residents in and around the Kirtland AFB area cannot be poisioned by their own government or anyone else!
From what I read in the newspaper articles, Kirtland AFB, is showing all its arrogance, with all the delaying tactics and excuses not to do something, etc., while the neighborhoods around the base are put at risk! Because you are an attorney, I hope you team up with the state Attorney General, and proceed into the courtroom and show the Air Force and the federal government a little arrogance of your own. The citizens of Albuquerque, the base and New Mexico are counting on you! It's really simple to understand...after the mess is cleaned up by the Air Force, who made the mess in the first place...if Kirtland AFB cannot be a good neighbor...it's time to close the base!
Thank you for your time.
END OF LETTER;
As I said earlier, I saw all the activism by the American people during the 1960's and 70's, where thay won back their country, which was headed in the wrong direction. A big victory for the American people during that long fight with the government, which took over 15 years and ended with the Watergate scandal.
A few years ago, federal judges were being murdered all across the country. A reporter asked a federal judge, knowing the risk, why he remained a federal judge and his answer, "Because it's the right thing to do."
And, that's why I'm doing what I'm doing...it's the right thing to do. The American government (at any level); terrorists; or anyone else cannot poison the neighbors and try to get away with it...PERIOD! That's why I encourage everyone all across the country to become an activist in their communities...and don't yawn these issues away! You'll feel better about yourself right away...and each of you out there can make a difference in your community!
From: Associated Content (Yahoo): Chemical Dumps Are Ticking Time-Bombs! 'Better Things For Better Living Through Chemistry.' During the 1930's, that was the slogan that hearalded a new age. However, little did anyone suspect these 'better things' would create an 'environmental Frankenstein's monster.'
People were then delighted with new products created by chemicals. Our wardrobes; homes and cars became filled with nylons, rayons, cellophanes and plastics. New 'miracle' pesticides and man-made fertilizers multiplied our food. Scientists were then praised for creating new things that Nature forgot. Tragically, these wastes were carelessly dumped. 'The stuff was tucked away,' said Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official Steffen Plehn. 'It was out of sight; out of mind...and forgotten...but not long.'
The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) is just as criminal as the corporations for 'looking the other way!' From 1940 to 1970, General Electric dumped more than a million pounds of PCBs into the Hudson River. That toxic pollution decimated commercial fishing in the Hudson, and health advisories still reccomend strict limits on eating fish from the river. Yet, for years, GE has fought against cleaning up its own PCBs contamination. Finally, last year (2009) the company undertook the first phase of the clean-up...roughly 10 percent of the job.
My two-cents: I think the EPA is just as bad...or worse as the companies that pollute our air, water, streams and lakes. They're all puppets of an insane government gone wrong...and will only do the right thing...for money...
Are you really going to believe anyone in a corporation; a factory; or a manufacturing plant where you live? Are you really going to believe anyone in a mining operation? Are you really going to believe anyone in the city government where you live? Are you really going to believe anyone in the county government where you live? Are you really going to believe anyone in the state government where you live? And, are you really going to believe anyone in the federal government where you live? Gee-e-e-e...if you're so believing in government (at any level)...and the private sector...maybe you should look in the mirror...you might see the F-word stamped on your forehead...'Fool.'
In a democracy, it is the people who rule...not the government; the White House or the Congress, either. I encourage everyone out there to become an activist and help to get things done in your community that is broken and needs fixing. It's a feel, good, feeling for sure...
For those who want to share their experiences and expertise, can contact me;
Jerry Aragon; humordoctormd(at)gmail.com
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Copyright; 2010; Jerry Aragon/The Humor Doctor
Website name; humordoctormd