Thanks to the work done by scientists, that we reported on back in August, state and federal environmental officials are finally reopening an investigation into whether buried military debris has caused a cancer cluster in the area and specifically, a South Patrick Shores subdivision.
Metal detectors have found evidence of a military dump from the 1940s, in the backyards of some of the houses near Patrick Air Force Base. These findings make the cancer concerns and fears of groundwater contamination more real. And imperative to investigate.
One resident, Sandra Sullivan “is convinced she’s living on an old military dump – one that was used in the World War II era, long before the South Patrick Shores subdivisions of today were built.”1
In a letter, the EPA said,
“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in cooperation with the Department (The Florida Department of Environmental Protection), has committed to reassessing South Patrick Shores to determine if hazardous substances have been released to the environment, and if so, evaluate the threat posed to human health.”2
According to the DEP, the site was “clearly used by Department of Defense or by its agents, and therefore should be eligible for (cleanup) funding…”3 On top of that, the EPA could do a Superfund cleanup of any chemicals found.
The EPA’s investigation should take about six months but the Army Corps of Engineers will take a year before they decide whether or not to start the cleanup.
That’s right. They might decide to do nothing. Can you believe they get to potentially ignore the site entirely? Is anyone else mad about that?
I’m not sure how much more we can take in Florida. We are literally killing the environment and doing nothing about it.