Archive for December 9th, 2011

Obama Facing Voter Backlash Over Vieques Island Deadly Contamination Class Action Lawsuit, Appealed In U.S.

President Barack H. Obama’s claimed that the federal government can’t be held accountable for the unlawful use of Vieques Island as a testing ground for deadly toxins and weapons by the U.S. Department of the Navy for 63 years. Read More

U.S. Finds No Link Between Vieques Bombings and Health Risks
By MIREYA NAVARRO
Published: New York Times December 8, 2011

A federal agency announced Thursday that it had found no evidence that decades of live fire and bombing exercises by the Navy on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques had caused health problems documented among its residents.

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, released the results of a review that confirmed a conclusion reached by the agency in 2003 that heavy metals and explosive compounds in the island’s soil, groundwater, air and fish posed no health hazards. Read More

Congressman Steve Rothman: More Questions Than Answers in ATSDR Report

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 8, 2011
CONTACT: Aaron Keyak
office: (202) 225-5061
cell: (202) 905-6361
email: aaron.keyak@mail.house.gov

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Steve Rothman (D-NJ) released the following statement on the new health assessment by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) on the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico:

The new Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) report should have addressed the concerns of the residents of Vieques and the alarmingly high rates of serious and disabling health care problems on the island. I am disappointed that the ATSDR report provided more questions than answers. It is astonishing that the ATSDR seems to still hold that decades of bombing on the island by the US Navy with military ordnance pose no harmful health effects to the people of Vieques.

The report, in acknowledging many still unanswered questions concerning the health of the people of Vieques, made a number of recommendations on which additional efforts should be undertaken. As the author of the Vieques Recovery and Development Act – which would set up a toxic research center and hospital, among other measures on the island – my bill’s and this report’s recommendations for additional action should now be fully supported and financed by the Congress and the Executive Branch. I will continue to work with the Obama Administration to ensure that the current recommendations from both the ATSDR and the White House Taskforce on Puerto Rico on Vieques are carried out as soon as possible.

We must deliver justice to the people of Vieques, Puerto Rico. It is unacceptable that the ATSDR report still leaves the residents of Vieques without a clear explanation of the health risks associated with decades of US Navy activity on their island. The time for the US government to address the serious health care concerns of the people of Vieques is long overdue.

 

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