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Surveys by three parties all point to high level of toxic chemicals in water at U.S. Army facility

  • December 29, 2021
  • , Okinawa Times, Ryukyu Shimpo
  • JMH Translation

Okinawa Times and Ryukyu Shimpo reported on the results of surveys conducted by the central government, the prefectural government, and the U.S. military of water samples collected in June from a tank at the U.S. Army oil storage facility in Uruma where wastewater containing toxic agents leaked out earlier that month. The analysis done by the GOJ showed 87,000 nanograms of PFAS per liter, 1,740 times the permissible limit according to Ryukyu Shimpo. The corresponding figures for the prefectural government and the U.S. military were 83,000 nanograms and 75,000 nanograms, respectively. The Ministry of the Environment reportedly said the discrepancy between the three findings is “within the margin of error” and may have occurred due to differences in methods for analyzing the samples. The ministry also said there is no health risk to local residents at present since the U.S. military has ensured that the wastewater remains in the facility.

 

Okinawa Times noted that the results were not made public until six months after the incident, claiming that they could not be released promptly due to the requirement for three-party consensus for “simultaneous announcement” that the U.S. military insisted on when the trilateral survey was implemented. The daily criticized the GOJ and the U.S. military for failing to swiftly address the local people’s concerns, with Governor Tamaki voicing strong frustration with the delay by saying: “I will ask the GOJ and the U.S. military to expeditiously release the results of the analysis if similar incidents take place in the future.”

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