Friday, May 24, 2024
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Woke Claims Military Bases Responsible for Environmental Racism



Over the past year, I became convinced leftists had exhausted every possible target for charges of racism, but alas, it seems I was wrong. It appears the latest victims of the left’s faux outrage are military bases, which check two boxes with accusations of environmental contamination purposely directed at minorities.

A lot of this woke lunacy is so absurd, if you’re like me, you have a tendency to roll your eyes and move on to the next story, but I swear, this is a real thing, and it bears scrutiny.

Environmental Racism at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base

PFOS and PFOA are materials that are part of the PFAS category of compounds commonly used in the aviation industry to extinguish fires associated with aircraft emergencies. In 2016, Davis-Monthan and other military bases transitioned to a different material that presents little risk and adheres to the EPA’s Stewardship program.

Yet, liberals have learned to never pass up an issue that can be exploited.

The pattern that emerges in this instance is familiar: A woke “journalist” finds some evidence of unintentional wrongdoing, and they twist it into a deliberate, damaging action based on race.

While there are many examples of reckless efforts to attack our nation’s military by the left, let’s focus on one particular piece relating to environmental racism at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base (DMAFB) in Tucson, Arizona. Many times, we read something critical of a person or entity in a city we’re unfamiliar with, which can make it difficult to challenge the author’s conclusions. However, in this case, I am intimately familiar with Tucson and Davis Monthan.

“One of the military bases in Arizona with severe PFAS contamination is Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Located within the city limits of Tucson, it is one of the most active facilities in the country.

“A few years ago, the military base had a PFAS level of up to 3,300 ppt, which greatly exceeds the safe exposure limit. Still, the EPA’s current limit for PFAS in drinking water of 70 ppt is considered too high by some environmental advocacy groups such as Environmental Working Group, which endorses a 1 ppt limit.

“With neighborhoods comprising a 78% Latino population, Southside Tucson residents have always faced economic, racial, and social disparities. The presence of this military base is just one of the contributors to the environmental racism they have to endure. These disadvantaged people are also exposed to volatile organic compounds, trichloroethylene, and petroleum hydrocarbons. “

See how they do that? The military base released toxic chemicals into the environment. Since minorities live around Davis -Monthan, the military must have been deliberately trying to kill minorities.

Except…

Apparently, PFAS Contamination Doesn’t Discriminate

In reality, PFAS contamination was originally discovered by the Air Force Civil Engineer Center (AFCEC) in Tucson in 2015. Currently, contamination levels on Tucson’s south and southeast sides are similar to the level found in Marana, a suburb in northwest metro Tucson, which is 61.8% white and 26% Hispanic. DMAFB also borders the large, and mostly white development of Rita Ranch on Tucson’s southeast side.

So, how could that be? Whoever is behind the Davis-Monthan PFAS environmental-racism scandal in Tucson seems to be relatively colorblind in dispersing the chemical evenly across a variety of ethnic groups. Further, the PFAS contaminated water on the city’s southside, where supposedly no one cares about the residents, is being routed to a treatment plant where it is restored to EPA standards. The wells nearest the Air Guard base on east Valencia were shut down immediately when the chemical was first detected. In short, no one from a minority community is drinking contaminated water in Tucson.

Long on Emotion but Short on Facts

The state has already allocated $3.3 million to design a mitigation system to treat the highest concentration of PFAS plumes, while the Department of Defense designs a plan to tackle the problem on a national basis. There is no question that if left unaddressed, the PFAS contamination represents a threat to the city’s entire drinking water system, but the city, state and Davis-Monthan are taking extraordinary steps to address the problem in a responsible way.

Claiming that the PFAS pollution was a purposeful attack on the Tucson Hispanic community is disingenuous at best, and outright race baiting at worst. But when it comes to Woke, what else would we expect?