Monday, Nov. 03, 2008

U. S. ships sand from Kuwait to Idaho

In May, an unusual shipment made its way from Kuwait to Idaho: 6,700 tons of radioactive sand. The cargo, contaminated by traces of depleted uranium from military vehicles and munitions that caught on fire during the first Gulf War, was extracted from a U.S. army base and dumped at a hazardous waste disposal site 70 miles southeast of Boise. And this isn't the first shipment, either: in years past, the dump operator, American Ecology Corp., has ferried hazardous materials from U.S. military bases overseas to sites in Idaho, Nevada, and Texas. "As you can imagine," a company spokesman explained to the Associated Press, apparently without irony, "the host countries of those bases don't want the waste in their country."