Pollution

Many Contaminants Infiltrate Caves

Along with the usual spooky and spine-tingling sights we have come to expect in caves, another scary inhabitant is turning up — contaminants such as PCBs, pesticides, dioxins, gasoline, fertilizers, sewage, and caffeine.

These pollutants, which are leaching into caves from the surface and groundwater, can pose a threat to the delicate underground environments that are prized by many, and that provide benefits to people, plants, and animals on the surface. The presence of these contaminants underground also serves as a blunt reminder of how pervasive pollutants are.

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States Backing Off Enforcement of Toxic Military Site Cleanups

The US military has created at least 31,487 toxic sites at 4,624 military facilities or properties. Many of these have been cleaned up to some degree over the past few decades, but 7,056 still haven't had any cleanup, nor is there an accepted cleanup plan in place, according to the Sept. 18, 2008, testimony of Wayne Arny (703-695-2880), Deputy Under Secretary of Defense, before the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee.

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