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Contaminated Kuwait sand in Idaho

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    Contaminated Kuwait sand lands in Idaho By The Idaho Observer http://1984usa.com/higherlearning/?p=439 Nearly 80 rail cars containing 6,700 tons of
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 1, 2008
      Contaminated Kuwait sand lands in Idaho
      By The Idaho Observer

      Nearly 80 rail cars containing 6,700 tons of contaminated sand from
      Gulf War I are being shipped by American Ecology Corp. to its
      hazardous waste disposal site near Grandview, 70 miles southeast of
      Boise. The sand arrived by ship at Longbeach, Washington on May

      The sand was from Camp Doha in Kuwait. Responding to a series of
      questions posed by The Idaho Observer, Idaho Governor Butch Otter
      stated, "…it appears that the material in question is well within the
      contaminant limitations of the U.S. (sic) Ecology permit."

      According to Major Doug Rokke (ret.), "Camp Doha blew up during
      summer and we had conventional munitions, DU, chemicals, biological
      weapons, tanks, artillery, fuel, all stored in preparation for gulf
      war II. A fire started and it all blew up leaving a real toxic mess.
      We [his team] wrote the clean up plan during winter 1992-1993 as no
      bid contract for Halliburton. We figure that with all of the medical
      problems the Kuwaiti government told DOD to finally get it out of

      The IO asked the governor's office who collected the sand, who
      removed it from the site in Kuwait, who loaded it onto the ship, who
      inspected and sealed the load, who off broke the seal, inspected the
      contents and authorized the shipment to be loaded onto rail cars, who
      inspected the rail cars and who is assuming responsibility for the
      entire operation?

      The governor's office failed to answer those questions but assured
      The IO that the shipment of sand was transported from Kuwait in
      special containers that were "…sealed with customs procedures."
      The comment is not very reassuring since Customs observes different
      procedures depending on the type of cargo and the shipper. Since
      American Ecology was working under contract with the U.S. Army,
      Customs would not observe the same procedures with the U.S. Army sand
      from Kuwait as it does a shipment of coffee from Columbia.

      The main point of the letter was to assure us that we can trust the

      "…let me assure you that the best science and most assiduous
      regulation is being used in safeguarding Idaho citizens from this and
      all other hazardous materials," Governor Otter said.

      Considering this was an international shipment, it would have been
      brokered through the U.S. State Department and Idaho would
      have "volunteered" to receive the shipment via the U.S. Army and its
      contractor American Ecology.

      Governor Otter claims that, "Dose rate measurements were taken on the
      surface of the container. Those measurements were between 12 and 14
      microrem per hour (uRem/hr). Background from naturally-occurring
      sources in Idaho is 10 to 15 uRem/hr."

      If the radiation levels from the sand were not greater than
      background levels in Idaho, which are probably less than anywhere in
      the Gulf at this time, then there would be no reason to ship the sand
      out of Kuwait. If Major Rokke is right, then the sand is contaminated
      with toxic levels of other substances such as chemical weapons
      (biologicals generally do not have much of a shelf life once

      Governor Otter made reference only to levels of radiation.

      The Otter administration, without consent of the people of Idaho, is
      going ahead with plans to expand uranium mining operations in Idaho
      and is courting a French company that wants to process raw uranium
      into plutonium at plants to be built in Idaho.

      The point of the previous paragraph is to illustrate that Otter's
      Idaho is not really concerned about people and the environment;
      saying so just sounds good in a letter.

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