06 March 2015

Why Were The C-123s Destroyed by USAF in 2010?

C-123 HAZMAT Quarantine Area
Because they were toxic. Because veterans might learn of the toxic exposures and turn to VA for
medical care (AF agreed this was to be prevented.) Because USAF sworn testimony in federal court was that the airplanes were "a danger to public health" and could never be sold or parted out.

Apparently, being a threat to public health had no bearing on whether the crews who flew them years earlier might need to be alerted to toxins and their health concerns.

And the planes also had to be destroyed...quickly and quietly...because of a threatened $3.4 billion EPA fine. $32,000 per day, per airplane. Good thing the EPA had never been fully informed of the Bone Yard's special C-123 HAZMAT quarantine area, but the toxic airplanes couldn't sit behind that "restricted access" fence forever. There were even concerns that rainwater off the airplanes might contaminate the soil beneath them.

But $3.4 billion was a stand-alone major focus, and compelled action. Unless they could continue the cover up, a $3,400,000,000 for an EPA fine is not a mistake Hill or Davis-Monthan AFB officials wanted to have on their annual efficiency reports – not much efficiency in such a monumental fine. So the planes had to be destroyed, and it had better be done very, very quietly.

And it was. Nobody noticed. Ever. And the exposed veterans didn't notice, either, and didn't know we'd been exposed to harmful levels of dioxin until years later. A great success for Hill AFB Public Affairs.

In 2014, a VA consultant told the Institute of Medicine the C-123s were destroyed "because they were obsolete." He did not mention the fact that in 2009 he'd personally recommended destruction of the airplanes due to their toxicity and to prevent veterans' claims.

Here's the AF memo detailing concerns about the EPA fine:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Got something to share? Nothing commercial or off-topic, please.