"We have confirmed that the Som River, which is the tap water source for about 210,000 Wonju residents, has been exposed to oil contamination until recently," Lim Sam-jin, a GKU official, told a news conference. "The leaked oil has also caused serious soil contamination around the U.S. camp."

Although Camp Eagle claims that the aircraft oil spilled while fuel was supplied to Apache helicopters was treated with oily water separator before flowing into the river, GKU said the treatment facility was simply a concrete tank for waste oil storage.

The civic group presented as evidence related photos and samples of polluted soil. It also said it sent soil samples to experts for analysis.
The group said that it would file an accusation with the prosecution against the chief of Camp Eagle on two counts of criminal charges.
Under the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), USFK was supposed to notify the Korean government of the incident, but did not, although it became aware of the situation in June during repair work on the underground oil storage tank, the group said.

According to GKU, USFK has been repairing oil storage tanks at its military camps across the nation since June under a contract with a U.S. firm called "Mid-Atlantic Tank Inspection Services."

However, the U.S. firm has been overlooking water and soil contamination from oil leaks to reduce costs and attempted to cover up the Camp Eagle incident, GKU said, adding that USFK knew of the incident despite the cover-up.
GKU also accused the U.S. inspection firm of being the main culprit behind an August leak of about 2,000 liters of oil from a U.S. military base in Paju, Kyonggi Province.

Activists said the August incident happened right after the U.S. firm finished repair work on an oil tank. It explained that the incomplete sealing of the oil tank and the lack of ground-making work caused the spill.

The group also accused the military camp of being a frequent illegal oil discharger.
According to GKU, there were at least two more serious oil leakages in the past from Camp Eagle, which is off-limits to civilians as it is surrounded by Korean military bases.

In 1998, about 200 gallons of oil were accidentally dumped from the U.S. military camp and about 400 liters of oil also leaked through its drainage pipes into the Som River in 1994, the group said.

Urging the USFK chief to resign, GKU demanded that USFK form an inspection team composed of Korean government officials and activists to examine the realities of contamination around U.S. military camps nationwide.

It also called for the closure of American military bases located around tap water sources and repeated its long-standing demand for the inclusion of environmental clauses in the SOFA.

"USFK promised not to repeat similar incidents when it apologized for the illegal disposal of a toxic chemical last month," said Lim, the GKU official. "However, it covered up the oil leakage again. This will not happen once the SOFA is revised to include environmental regulations." 



Koreaherald
by Chang Jae-soon Staff reporter
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  1. 2012.01.18 15:55 신고
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    좋은 . 좋은 주신 것이다 나 페이 스북 을 사랑하지만, 그럼에도 불구하고 찾을 수 없습니다 버튼을 .
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