It’s not a pleasant thing to discover that the Department of Defense is our country’s biggest polluter. As Congressman John Dingell said, “the Defense Department is supposed to defend the nation, not to defile it.” But that doesn’t mean we should not confront the truth, because it’s the only way we can protect ourselves from what has been done and what could be done in the future. There are over 100 military sites on the National Priorities List at the EPA. There are more places, such as Coldwater Creek in St. Louis, that are not on the list but need urgent attention. My hope is that I will be able to make a real difference in awareness with my project, which is a long investigative report on the situation.
The name of the project is Left Behind: America’s Toxic Military Sites and I will be launching it on Beacon Reader. My original goal was to find 50 backers–and with one week left I need a little less than 20 to be successful. Beacon is a great site, home to important independent journalism. For only five dollars, you can become one of my backers and try the whole site out for a month. A successful campaign on Beacon will support my in-depth research and reporting on these toxic military sites. An accurate accounting of this hazardous waste is essential for the health of the communities where it is presently being dumped. I believe I can help those who are suffering–and help to educate people so they can protect themselves and their families. The Department of Justice has recently joined with a big corporate polluter in an important SCOTUS case coming up later this month. It is critical that citizens also join together in order to stop this madness.
— Lou Freshwater is a writer who has spent the last few years enjoying the seasons in Rhode Island. She recently completed her MA in English Lit/Creative Writing, and her thesis consisted of pages from her first novel which she hopes to complete this year.