Marianas Variety

Last updateSat, 25 Mar 2017 12am

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    Friday, March 24, 2017-6:07:40A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

Pågan advocate: Military activity bad for dolphins

SAVE Pagan Island advocate Jerome Aldan says live-fire training exercises conducted by the military are adversely affecting dolphins breeding in the waters north of Saipan near Farallon de Medinilla.

He noted the documented health effects at Sardinia Island, Italy and other areas where the military conducts live-firing exercises.

Jerome Aldan
“The high levels of toxins found in dolphins in Guam waters should not come as a surprise as dolphins breed in the waters north of Saipan near FDM, on area known for contaminants on land and in the water directly attributed to unexploded ordinance on FDM,” Aldan said.

Citing the online report at http://www.buzzfeed.com, he said the incidence of toxin release is proven in at least 12 islands contaminated by military live fire.

If the U.S. military pursues its plan to hold exercises on the Pagan, he said he is convinced that the volcanic island will suffer the same fate.

According to Aldan, the “made-up environmental impact report conducted directly or commissioned and paid for by the military should be taken with a grain of salt.

There was a similar study claiming no impact on the environment at FDM, he said.

Aldan said CNMI regulatory agencies have already pointed out in their scoping position papers the potential health threats that could be directly and indirectly attributed to live-fire training.

He said the case studies involving 12 islands are “convincing evidence of the health impact of live-fire on living creatures, including man, animals, plants and sea life.”

The elevated level of toxins in dolphins around Guam are likely to affect sea creatures in CNMI waters closest to Guam — Rota’s, Aldan said.

“Tests should be conducted in Rota waters,” he added.

Aldan said it also “does not take a rocket science to prove that exposure to live-fire is detrimental to human health and well-being in the short haul and particularly fatal in the long run to the health and well-being of the community and people of Guam and the CNMI.”

He suggested taking a random sample of cancer-related deaths on Guam, Rota, Tinian, and Saipan and comparing the data with the mortality rate in the Northern Islands.

A more comprehensive analysis should likewise be conducted by examining the mortality history and cancer-related deaths in the Johnston Atoll, Kirimati or Christmas Island and Malden Island, Kaho’olawe near Maui in Hawaii, Pohakulia in Hilo, Hawaii, Makua Valley and Waikane in Honolulu, Amchitka in the Aleutian Islands in Alaska, the Vieques and Culbra in Puerto Rico, Kwajalein Atoll, Runit Island in Enewetak Atoll and the Bikini Atoll, all in the Marshall Islands, Aldan said.

“This information could then be used to compare with the cancer-related deaths in Sardinia in Italy. It is important for our leaders and the community to pay heed to studies conducted on cancer-related deaths in all of these areas that are directly attributed to military live-fire training and testing activities,” he added.

Aldan said there is ample evidence that cancer-related deaths are related to military live-fire activity.

“We need to take a strong position now and not regret our indecisiveness later,” he said.