Read the full article by Pat Elder (Military Poisons)

Part 1 of a 5-part series  

“On Tuesday, August 16, 2022, Julie Akey, a past resident of Fort Ord, California, sent a petition request to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Office of Community Health and Hazard Assessment, (ATSDR).

Akey asked ATSDR to re-examine contamination and its effects on people stationed at Fort Ord in the 1990’s.

This article will provide an introduction to the chronological record of the correspondence between Ms. Akey and the ATSDR that analyzes the deadly track record of military and governmental obfuscation. It is the first in a series of five segments.  

Like most Army bases, Fort Ord is a cauldron of toxic chemical contamination. Hundreds who lived there were sickened and many have died as a result of the contamination. ATSDR, a branch of the Centers for Disease Control, investigated the site in 1996 and concluded that there was ‘no apparent public health hazard.’

Julie Akey is leading a fight for governmental transparency.

Akey lived in Fort Ord housing in 1996 and 1997. Today, she suffers from multiple myeloma, a potentially deadly form of blood cancer. Julie wondered if her deteriorating health was the result of her time spent at For Ord. After all, she drank the water and breathed the air. She started a Facebook page, Cancer and illnesses from Fort Ord, CA military base and she has collected the names and clinical diagnoses of diseases and cancers for more than 1,250 people who spent time at Fort Ord, including 138 diagnosed with multiple myeloma.

The Associated Press published the results of an investigation based on Akey’s findings in February of 2022. They reported on hundreds of sickened veterans through their exposure to toxic solvents, munitions, and other chemical hazards. They pointed to high levels of trichloroethylene (TCE) in the drinking water as a likely culprit for widespread disease.

As a result, the ATSDR agreed to re-open the case!

Now, however, the ATSDR has announced the scope of the new study will be extremely limited. ATSDR will not look PFAS, another chemical linked to multiple myeloma and many diseases and cancers Akey has reported. Meanwhile concentrations of PFAS in groundwater at Fort Ord are more than 20,000 times over the EPA’s interim lifetime health advisory.

ATSDR refuses to closely re-examine their initial shoddy documentation, while strictly limiting the time frame of its investigation. The agency says it will not look at chemicals and exposure pathways for people living and working at Fort Ord during the period from 1985 through 1994. Although they recognize that vulnerable people lived at the base through at least 1997, they refuse to include those years and those potentially impacted people, like Julie, in their reevaluation.

The following chronology and subsequent segments are for those who continue to suffer, and it is for their families. This is for those who have buried their loved ones due to the callousness of the Army command and the federal government. This is written to shame the Army and the U.S. government and to plead with people of all stripes to clamor for accountability.”