What city or company would lease or buy property on a Superfund Site (George Air Force Base, CA), potentiality exposing their employees to toxic contamination, and opening the door to years of litigation?
The George AFB CERCLA §120(h) Deed Restrictions
- The Army and/or Air Force used organochlorine pesticide to protect the older buildings’ (pre-1988) foundations against ground termites and other pests at George AFB including the Base Schools, Housing, Barracks, and Dorms.
- The DoD and the Air Force failed to test for these organochlorine pesticide except at the Base Housing Units
- The DoD and the Air Force failed to disclose the widespread use of these POP pesticides in the CERCLA §120(h) Deed Restrictions as required by law except for at the Base Housing Units
- The DoD and the Air Force failed to disclose that chlordane, heptachlor, endrin, and dangerous levels of aldrin and chlordane were present at the Base Housing Units in the CERCLA §120(h) Deed Restrictions as required by law
The Air Force’s right to withhold records
Congress gave the Air Force the right to withhold the information about “classified environmental contamination” from the CERCLA §120(h) Deed Restrictions.
The Department of Defense (DOD) and Air Force inserted an interesting clause in the “Federal Facility Agreement for George AFB” that gives them the right to withhold records [pertaining to classified environmental contamination] at the property.
The Air Force’s admits to withholding records
The Air Force admits that it routinely withheld records and information from regulators, contractors, and the public about contamination. “Buried Radioactive Weapons Maintenance Waste”
The Air Force’s lost records
Furthermore, The EPA and the Government Accountability Office found that the Air Force has no idea of what radioisotopes, the amount it buried, or the locations of the radioactive waste dumps on its bases. “Nuclear Regulation – The Military Would Benefit From a Comprehensive Waste Disposal Program“, “Better Data Needed For Radioactively Contaminated Defense Sites“, “Lost AEC Records”
The Air Force failed to disclose radioactive contamination
- Radioactive waste buried at Biggs Airfield/Fort Bliss, TX stemming from Air Force maintenance activities involving nuclear weapons from the 1950s and 1960s.
- The specific quantity of maintenance waste buried is not known due to incomplete records.
- Bases with first generation nuclear weapon systems used the waste disposal methods that were in accordance with the Atomic Energy Commission and Air Force procedures at the time.
- The Air Force transferred the bunker to the Army in 1966, but did not warn officials about a potential radiation risk.
The Air Force’s Treachery
The Air Force leased portions of Norton AFB to the Inland Valley Development Agency (IVDA), which was allowed to sublease to private firms.
On July 10, 1990, the IVDA subleased docks 3 and 4 of Hanger 763 to Lockheed Commercial Aircraft Center, Incorporated, a subsidiary of the Lockheed Corporation. Lockheed planned to use the hangar to maintain and modify Boeing 747 aircrafts. Prior to commencing modifications at Hangar 763, Lockheed undertook engineering studies to determine if the concrete floor would support 747 aircrafts. In October 1990, foundation borings were taken, and the results showed that most of the floor would have to be removed and replaced with 12-14 inches of reinforced concrete.
The Air Force sued Lockheed for de-encapsulating the contamination under Hanger 763 after Lockheed submitted plans, received approval for the modifications, and invested $22 million to improve the hangar.
See: Google search Norton – Lockheed – Hanger 763
The DOD’s Modus Operandi (M.O.)
To understand what those who are trying to expose the cover-up are up against, look at what was done at Camp Lejeune. The DOD lied to the public and local, state, and federal regulators and congress; withheld records; covered-up deaths that were the result of the contamination at Camp Lejeune; and forced the ATSDR to suppress information about the contamination, health problems, and deaths which were the direct result of the contamination at Camp Lejeune.
See: POGO’s Camp Lejeune Resource Page, POGO’s Blog Camp Lejeune Contamination Cover-up, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, NC – News, and The Few, The Proud, The Forgotten
U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) Investigation
In a 2012 investigation, the GAO determined that the DOD has a long history of failing to notify the Department of Veterans Affairs or former base personnel of their exposure to potentially life threatening environmental contamination on its military bases. See: “DOD Can Improve Its Response to Environmental Exposures on Military Installations,” May 2012
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress and is often called the “congressional watchdog.”
Beware of Feds Bearing Gifts
George AFB closed in December of 1992. According to the, August 1995, GAO Report “MILITARY BASES: Case Studies on Selected Bases Closed in 1988 and 1991” the local community had been given $8,177,286.00 in grants to
help develop accept and assume liability for the former George Air Force Base, CA, “Superfund ID: CA2570024453.″
(GAO/NSIAD-95-139 Military Base, August 1995 – Page 116)
“Due diligence” is a term used for a number of concepts, involving either an investigation of a business or person prior to signing a contract, or an act with a certain standard of care.
It can be a legal obligation, but the term will more commonly apply to voluntary investigations. A common example of due diligence in various industries is the process through which a potential acquirer evaluates a target company or its assets for an acquisition.