Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger is asking Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin to help find a safe alternative to open burning of as many as 100 explosive-contaminated buildings at Badger Army Ammunition Plant – a proposal that will cause more pollution at the closing military base.
In a letter sent on January 13, CSWAB said that funding should be invested in the research and development of alternative technologies that meet the military’s criteria but do not place human health and the environment at risk. The group proposes that Badger be utilized as pilot site. The proposal could create job opportunities for workers displaced by base closure and could also bring needed federal dollars into Wisconsin.
Disposing of unwanted buildings at closing military facilities is a challenge facing communities across the country and is not unique to Badger. Each year hundreds of buildings are burned by the Department of Defense, placing human health and the environment at unnecessary risk and exacerbating environmental damage caused by past military activities.
“Environmental cleanup at Badger is already a highly complex and challenging problem,” CSWAB wrote to Baldwin. “The last thing we need is more contamination”.
Finding an environmentally-friendly solution is also consistent with the recommendations of the Badger Reuse Committee, an independent advisory group funded with Baldwin’s help. Last year, the committee of local and tribal governments, state and federal agencies, and other interested groups approved a plan that stipulates future activities should pose no risk to people or the environment and should not pose the threat of additional contamination of the Badger property. Planned future uses include conservation, agriculture, education, and recreation.
According to the Army, the first burn could occur as early as February or March. In order to give federal legislators time to find funding and other support for the project, we are also asking that the proposed open burning be delayed.