A Thousand Points of Blight

From fuel spills and toxic wastes to live shells and lethal landfills, the U.S. military is the nation's No. 1 polluter

Pearl Harbor made history as the target of the 1941 Japanese air attack. But the 91-year-old naval base earned a more dubious distinction last month when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) added the site to its list of the nation's most dangerously polluted places. Among the hazards scattered across 12,264 acres: unlined landfills, pesticide-disposal pits, chromic acid- disposal areas, heavy-metal contamination and waste-oil leakage.

Perhaps the most shocking thing about Pearl Harbor's pollution is that it is duplicated at hundreds of military installations around the country. Stick a shovel into the ground at the Army's Aberdeen Proving Ground north of Baltimore,...

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