Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Kelly Air Force Base contamination, a dying issue

Throughout the areas around the old Kelly Air Force Base, you can see small purple crosses in the yards of residents. These were an idea of the Committee for Environmental Justice Action, who work with Southwest Workers Union, to bring visible awareness to the staggering number of households in the area with at least one member who has been diagnosed with cancer. This is an attempt to bring attention to the longstanding claims of improper waste disposal that led to the deaths, birth defects and sickness of so many Kelly area families.

This is what we know for sure: for decades the community has alleged everything from improper waste disposal to withholding of information from the public regarding the nature and extent of contamination,including failure to inform potential home buyers (of federally subsidized property) of the environmental conditions of the property

In 1983 scientists at KAFB released information indicating that toxic waste had been dumped into an uncovered pit - as described by Yolanda Johnson and Armando Quintanilla. Quintanilla(a KAFB worker for almost 50 years) says, "The trichloroethylene [a solvent used to degrease aircraft parts] was intentionally dumped by the Air Force into the ground, which went into the groundwater and has now gone as far as three miles from the fence line at KAFB."


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