Military Waste Cleanup Project
The National Technical Experts Network (NTEN) unites self-taught experts with citizen-scientists and professional experts working in military cleanup to exchange information, expertise and ideas to help each other in the daunting task of cleaning up the military installations in the country. NTEN is a major initiative of the MilWaste Project.
Together with the Institute's local and regional work, NTEN serves the vision of putting citizens, scientists, science teachers and their students at the service of cooperative, open, efficient cleanup. The people are the key to gathering support and mustering the resources necessary for effective cleanup. It is important for both the communities and the scientists/engineers involved to realign the technical community in service to grass-roots community organizations.
Democratically deployed science can tap the knowledge, experience and expertise of community members -- people who worked and played at the base, who have known all the practices, modes, and problems of handling substances on the Base. They embody the Base's institutional memory, they are the context experts and they include everyone from the editors and reporters on the town newspapers to the local librarians, the self-educated activists and environmental scientists, the military veterans and retirees, the former vendors and suppliers to the (now grown up) kids who played on the back lots. And they potentially include local science teachers, scientist/engineer-neighbors and community environmental scientists. But ordinary science and engineering, as produced in the usual isolated settings can never fully use this capability. We envision colleges and junior colleges helping do clean-up right at every base and military installation in the country.
Thus, NTEN seeks to tap into all the human and intellectual resources necessary to clean up the nation's legacy of the cold war, which even conservative estimates determine will require more environmental scientists to be employed between now and 2015 than all those graduated in the last 50 years in all fields, let alone those employed for weapons work. In real terms, the amount of money (at least $200-300 billion) needed for the effort is bigger than the Manhattan Project, even after accounting for over 50 years of inflation. It is little comfort to us that the problems of the former Soviet Union are even more daunting and unmanageable.
The above figures vividly describe the urgency
of the environmental problems facing the country. Since current resources
and funding for military environmental cleanup will be grossly insufficient,
we need the help of all citizens and scientists and educators -- whoever
can provide sound information on technical matters to RABs, SSABs and the
affected communities, and, who will help build the critical mass needed
to influence top military officials and policymakers.
The National Technical Experts Network:
For Further Information Contact:
David Keith, Coordinator
Military Waste Cleanup Project, %isis Institute/NS
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002-5001
Email: isisgu @hampshire.edu
413-559-5582 / 413-559-5448 (fax)
The Military Waste Cleanup Project currently works at Westover Air Reserve Base, and serves its Restoration Advisory Board. MilWaste Project pages for national efforts are historical and archival.