To the Editor:
Camp Ripley is a modern military training site where live-fire exercises take place all summer long, year after year.
What are the health and environmental ramifications of living in Little Falls, five miles from Camp Ripley? It seems plausible there is a correlation between Morrison County’s low state health ranking and the contaminants spewed into the atmosphere during live-fire exercises and explosions at Camp Ripley. These poisons are then shared with neighboring “downwinders,” a term used for communities within 10 miles of a military base that performs live fire bombings.
Military toxins go anywhere and kill everything. They are the quintessential universal soldier. They not only kill the enemy, they kill our military personnel and people living near military bases and pollute our water, land and air. Some of these hazardous wastes include solvents, petroleum, perchlorate, lead, mercury, white phosphorus, depleted uranium and defoliants.
Military waste disposal sites pose significant problems. Does Camp Ripley store their chemical waste or transport it elsewhere?
More than 12,000 military sites on which live explosive training takes place release perchlorate into groundwater, where it is exceedingly mobile and persists for decades.
I hope Camp Ripley’s commander will answer these questions soon. — Robin Hensel, Little Falls