HR 411 - Ft. McClellan Health Registry Act
By Chris Duffee
Initial Publication Date: March 26, 2014
Republished: March 30, 2018
HR 411, and the toxic exposure suffered by the veterans, DoD employees, and their families that were at Ft. McClellan, Alabama between 1935 and 1999. The facts are undisputed and the government’s own studies prove the exposure. Specifically, the evidence proved that veterans have been exposed to the following:
Radiation/Ionizing radiation: CO60, CS137, and SR90.
In April, 1997, (after years of remediation) the highest soil surface sample Co-60 activity result (Table 8) was 330 pCi/g or 41 times the release criteria, but in 1985, radiation was in place would be more than 7 million times the Co60 activity in the soil unrestricted use criteria.1 This is not naturally occurring radiation.
In 1997, (after years of remediation) the highest surface soil sample of Cs137 activity was still 179 pCi/g or 11 times the release criteria.
Specific contaminants in water: When groundwater samples were analyzed at Ft. McClellan, Alabama for the study that was published in 1998, it was discovered that even after years of cleanup efforts, the metals which were detected above EPA drinking water MCLs were aluminum, iron, lead, and manganese. The chlorinated compounds include chlorobenzene, 1-1 dichloroethane, 1,2 dichloroethene, tetrachloroethene, trichloroethene, 1,1,2,2-tetrachloroethane, and pentachlorophenol. Pesticide related compounds detected in low concentrations include endodulfans I and II, alpha/delta-BHC, heptachor, isodrin, 4,4,-DDD, 4,4-DDE, and 4,4-DDT.
The Washington Post, Monsanto Hid Decades of Pollution, Michael Grunwald extracted from: http://www.commondreams.org/headlines02/0101-02.htm
The compound related to explosives found in the groundwater was 1,3,5,- trinitrobenzene. Other compounds detected include bis (2-ethylhexl)phthalate, benzo(a)anthracene, and chrysene (SAIC 1993 and 1995a) PCBs
It is undisputed that Monsanto caused PCBs to enter the soil, air and water of the town of Anniston, Alabama which is immediately outside of the gates of Ft. McClellan, Alabama, and Ft. McClellan, ultimately used City of Anniston water once the contamination was discovered on the base. Monsantos documents prove they knew they were contaminating the air, water and soil around Ft. McClellan, Alabama since the late 60s or early 70's. In 1966 a Monsanto sponsored study was conducted by a University of Mississippi biologist. He placed 25 Bluegill fish into one of the streams. He reported to Monsanto that the fish became disoriented within 10 seconds and died within 3 ½ minutes. Another of the biologists reported that it was like dunking the fish in battery acid. The fish spurted blood and shed their skin as though being placed in boiling water. Yet another biologist said, The skin would literally slough off. (Quoting excerpt from Washington Post)2 Even though Monsanto knew of these toxins and the deathly impact on the health of those exposed, they did not tell the community or make any efforts to clean up the chemicals.
PCB Contamination in Anniston, Alabama: Hearing before a subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations United States Senate: The transcript from the hearing states in pertinent part; In 1983, the Federal Soil and Conservation Service found PCBs in Choccolocco Creek, but took no action again. In 1985, State authorities found PCB contamination in SnowCreek, and reported their finding to the EPA; however, the EPA deferred cleanup of Snow Creek to the Alabama Department of Environmental Management. For years, ADEM, as we call it, did nothing, and EPA did not follow-up on the initial reports, or the cleanup measures, as best as I can tell. It was not until sometime in 1988 that Monsanto began to implement a Snow Creek sediment removal effort. The EPA conducted an RCRA facility assessment, identifying solid waste management and areas of concern in 1991. These areas of concern were identified after Monsanto had begun implementing the requirements of the RCRA Part B permit, including closure activities, groundwater monitoring, and development of groundwater corrective action systems.
The complete transcript ultimately shows that many of those in charge of managing and reporting violations had conflicts due to working relationships with or for Monsanto and no action was taken for the citizens of Alabama or the veterans and their families.
Even earlier than 1983, the government found these dangerous toxins that had contaminated the soil, water, and air at Ft. McClellan, Alabama and Anniston, Alabama. Little or nothing was done.
Other contaminants verified at Ft. McClellan:
Herbicides, (to include Agent Orange) pesticides, VX, Mustard, Distilled Mustard, Dumping of fuel (hundreds of gallons at a time into unlined ditches), Sarin, training chemicals, and Lewsite.
The sheer volume of toxins at Ft. McClellan is almost overwhelming, but when combined with the seriousness of those toxins, it becomes a grave matter. The real tragedy is that the veterans and their families have yet to be informed of their exposure. Many veterans are ill, or have died, most likely as a result of the exposure. Children have become ill with cancers that are rare and with no family history of same.
Members of all branches of the military, Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy, and WACs trained at Ft. McClellan. There are 1.6 million veterans that reside in Florida, per the V.A. and the American Legion. While I do not know what percentage of Florida veterans trained at Ft. McClellan, Alabama, I believe that number would be significant. Your constituents, all of the veterans, DoD employees, and the families have a right to be advised of their exposure and the veterans deserve to be treated for any illnesses that were caused by the exposure. Currently, even if a claim is filed for an illness that began at Ft. McClellan, the V.A. does not advise the veteran of the toxic exposure, thereby damaging the veterans ability to perfect a claim Bio: Nuclear, Biological, Chemical Soldier 1988 - 1994 Ft McClellan for AIT-1988, BNCOC-1991 Field Station Berlin 1989-1991 US Army Dugway Proving Grounds 1991-1992.