U.S. Military Must Reduce Toxic Waste and Contamination

Target: Jim Mattis, United States Secretary of Defense

Goal: Demand that the Pentagon work to clean up areas that have been contaminated with military pollution across the United States and worldwide.

The United States military is the world’s largest polluter, producing more toxic waste than the five largest U.S. chemical manufacturers combined. Both domestic and foreign U.S. military bases consistently rank as some of the most polluted places worldwide, with hazardous jet and rocket fuel components being major culprits for contamination. With hundreds of bases listed on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Superfund cleanup list, it is clear that something must be done.

In the United States, almost 900 of the 1200 sites identified by the EPA as being the worst polluted locations are former military sites and bases. According to retired Michigan congressman John D. Dingell, “almost every military site in this country is seriously contaminated.” Globally, the situation is even worse, from groundwater contamination in Okinawa to depleted uranium leftover from the Gulf War in Iraq.

It is time that the United States military and the Department of Defense (DoD) take necessary measures to clean up their toxic legacy. Sign this petition and demand that more be done to reduce waste and address the severe contamination found at military bases and other installations worldwide.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Secretary Mattis,

The United States military has the dubious honor of being the world’s largest polluter, with almost 900 of the EPA’s Superfund sites consisting of former military bases and other sites. Worldwide, U.S. military actions have left contamination at thousands of locations, from the nuclear fallout on the Marshall Islands and Guam to depleted uranium leftover in Iraq from the Gulf War. At home, Navajo Indian reservations have been poisoned by former DoD-contracted uranium mines. These are just a few of many examples.

It’s time that the U.S. military and Department of Defense act to address these issues that have exposed potentially many millions of people to hazardous waste known to cause cancer and other illnesses. We, the undersigned, urge you to step up efforts to clean up the pollution found at both domestic and foreign bases and to pledge to reduce waste moving forward.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Ian Cunliffe

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