Bush pollution and polluters.

A report in today’s edition of Salon newsletter that the Bush’s White House has, in compliance with the wishes of the Pentagon, America’s biggest polluter, “diminished a little-known but critical process at the Environmental Protection Agency for assessing toxic chemicals that impacts thousands of Americans” makes damning reading

It cites the story of the hundreds of sick people who live near the former Kelly Air Force Base to illuminates “entirely new manner in which the Bush administration has diluted science and put public health at risk”.

“meet lifelong San Antonio residents Robert and Lupe Alvarado. For decades, the Alvarados, whose modest home sits around two miles from Kelly, have lived with toxic chemicals underfoot. This is the poor part of town, adorned with chain-link fences and black metal bars concealing the windows. Many houses lack a proper foundation and rest on simple concrete slabs.

Beneath the Alvarados’ house and those of their neighbors are shallow pools of groundwater that are polluted with tetrachloroethylene, or PCE, a chemical associated with cancer, liver and kidney disease. Before the Kelly base closed in 2001, mechanics used PCE to degrease parts on airplanes and fighter jets. For decades, they chronically dumped the solvent into poorly sealed or unsealed waste pits on the base, where it seeped underground, forming a plume that sprawls over four square miles under 23,000 homes and businesses. Locals refer to the area as “the toxic triangle.”
On cool or rainy days, when the Alvarados close the windows and shut off the air conditioning, a sweet chemical smell floods the house. When they eat dinner during these times, says Robert, 66, it’s like tasting something acrid. “We drink bottled water but there’s nothing we can do about the air except go outside and wait,” says Lupe, 64.

You don’t have to read much more to realise that this is what Bush and the GOP really means by small government.


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