Washington, DC, June 26, 2018 – Per Donald Trump’s orders, the Department of Defense is scouting military sites to detain migrant children separated from their parents as a result of the administration’s “Zero Tolerance” policy. However, several of the potential sites are contaminated with chemicals in the Perfluoroalkyl family (PFAS), as revealed by a report that was delayed for six months by the Trump Administration and Scott Pruitt’s EPA for fear of a ‘public relations nightmare,’ according to the New Republic. This recently-released report from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) identified the chemical’s dangerous effects on humans, with exposure linked to kidney and testicular cancer and thyroid disease. According to epidemiology research, children are particularly vulnerable to PFAS chemicals. Children exposed to low levels of PFAS have impaired immune systems and poorer response to childhood vaccinations.
Below is a list of several of the sites confirmed to be considered as detention sites for migrant children AND confirmed to be contaminated by PFAS chemicals.
Dyess Air Force Base – Abilene, Texas
Internal emails to Pentagon staffers confirmed that Dyess AFB was being considered as a detention center for migrant children. According to data from the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UMCR), this site tested positive for multiple water contaminants.
Marine Corps Air Station – Yuma, Arizona
Camp Pendleton – Camp Pendleton South, California
Concord Naval Weapons Station – Concord, California
Navy Outlying Field Silverhill – Baldwin County, Alabama
Another site being considered, Navy Outlying Field Silverhill, is stationed in Baldwin County, Alabama, where groundwater contamination was found by pollution watchdog organization Scorecard, while Pentagon data and the UMCR found PFAS-contaminated water just one county over in Escambia County, Florida.
In response to the findings, Sierra Club Executive Director Mike Brune issued the following statement:
“Trump’s plans would compound the tragedy of his immigration policy by exposing kids ripped from their parents’ arms to toxic chemicals because of the poisoned water his Administration tried to cover up. It is unconscionable that fearing bad press,Trump and Pruitt conspired to withhold a life-saving study about a toxic chemical found on military bases. To now lock up separated migrant children on these contaminated sites shows that Trump will put anyone in harm’s way — from veterans to children — to further his own toxic political agenda. We should not allow this to happen to anyone’s children. This Administration is literally threatening the lives of those who come to our country seeking a better life, and no one should be silent in the face of this outrage.”
TIME, The Trump Administration is Scouting Military Bases to House Migrant Children: http://time.com/5317236/family-separation-policy-military-bases/
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VPR, Federal Study on Health Effects of PFAS, Delayed by EPA, Released: http://digital.vpr.net/post/federal-study-health-effects-pfas-delayed-epa-released#stream/
The New Republic, The Military Drinking-Water Crisis the White House Tried to Hide: https://newrepublic.com/article/149280/military-drinking-water-crisis-white-house-tried-hide
The Washington Post, Trump administration preparing to hold immigrant children on military bases: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-administration-preparing-to-shelter-migrant-children-on-military-bases/2018/05/15/f8103356-584e-11e8-b656-a5f8c2a9295d_story.html?utm_term=.82518e842cf0
The Intercept, Poisoning the Well: Toxic Firefighting Foam Has Contaminated U.S. Drinking Water: https://theintercept.com/2015/12/16/toxic-firefighting-foam-has-contaminated-u-s-drinking-water-with-pfcs/
TIME, Exclusive: Navy Document Shows Plan to Erect ‘Austere’ Detention Camp: http://time.com/5319334/navy-detainment-centers-zerol-tolerance-immigration-family-separation-policy/
The Mercury News, Shocked and angry, Concord residents reject plans for detention camp: https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/06/23/shocked-and-angry-concord-residents-reject-plans-for-detention-camp/
NBC, Rally, Town Hall Planned in Response to Possible Detention Camp in Concord: https://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Rally-Town-Hall-Planned-in-Response-to-Possible-Detention-Camp-in-Concord-486354991.html
Pollution Watchdog Organization Scorecard: http://scorecard.goodguide.com/env-releases/land/rank-sites-in-county.tcl?fips_state_code=01&fips_county_code=01003