Tainted soil detected at ex-U.S. land in Okinawa


More soil contamination from fossil fuel has been found on land formerly occupied by a U.S. military facility in Okinawa and there are fears the contaminants have spread via groundwater, according to an inspection report of the local defense bureau obtained Saturday.

Contamination by what appeared to be jet fuel and gasoline was found in the northern part of Camp Kuwae, according to the Okinawa Defense Bureau’s report for this year. Some of the land used by the base was handed back to Japan in 2003.

Under the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement, the United States has no obligation to clean up environmental contamination or provide compensation when returning base land.

The report says groundwater caused the contaminants to spread over a “wide area,” and the level of fumes exceeded the limit set by the bureau and a local government in 19 of 20 soil samples taken from the 38-hectare site.

Of those samples, six contained more oil residues than allowed under local regulations. Such oils are believed to be nonvolatile gas oil and lubricant oil, the report says.

The bureau said it plans to conduct a more detailed inspection.

  • jwtn

    The us military should help clean this up.

  • kyushuphil

    I’m an American. As such, I apologize for what my country does.

    Of course, we’ll never know the truth about what my country does. Especially the turth about fossil fuels and fossil fuel pollution, which so floats all that militarism. Not only is the government of my dear native land now paranoid secretive, but it lies habitually, systematically, cynically, pathetically, almost always.

    Any Japanese reading this, please take note as to the happy innocence of all these nuke power plants you’ve gotten from America, and all this happy, happy more-concrete-&-more-car-sprawl culture you’ve also thence embraced so totally.

  • OkiAmerican

    If this is caused by the Americans, then they should clean it up. However, if anyone were to look at the area that they are talking about, one would notice a large vehicle junkyard sitting on the hill above it. Having been in that junkyard, I can tell you that they are not the most environmentally friendly business around. Lets worry about the pole sticking out of our eye before we complain about the splinter in our finger.