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Lockheed: U.S. must pay for rocket-test cleanup

Lockheed: U.S. must pay for rocket-test cleanup

Washington Times
July 7, 2008

One of the nation’s largest federal defense contractors says the U.S. government should pay the cleanup costs – likely in the tens of millions of dollars or more – from pollutants leaked during the production and testing of U.S. military and space rockets.

Federal policies at one former Lockheed Propulsion Co. rocket plant in California allowed for burning toxic chemical waste in open, unlined dirt pits during the 1970s, according to a lawsuit that Lockheed Martin Corp. filed against the U.S. government.

The practice has been linked to pollution in groundwater and soil.

Lockheed, whose propulsion company helped build rocket motors for the Apollo and Mercury space programs, has faced personal injury lawsuits over the past decade from residents upset about pollution near the now-closed Redlands, Calif., rocket facility, according to U.S. Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings.

The company wants the government to pay past cleanup costs and to be held liable for future expenses.

A Lockheed spokeswoman declined to comment on the company’s lawsuit, filed Tuesday in federal court in the District. The lawsuit doesn’t say how much money the company is seeking.

Lockheed is reporting more than $500 million in liabilities companywide from “environmental matters,” which include soil and groundwater contamination in Redlands and unrelated projects, according to SEC filings.

According to the lawsuit, Lockheed says two sorts of pollutants – ammonium perchlorate and trichloroethylene – “escaped into the environment in the course of operations at the Redlands facility,” and turned up in local soil and groundwater.

Trichloroethylene, or TCE, is an industrial solvent that can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea and cancer. Exposure to perchlorate can affect the thyroid gland, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office.

Read Full Article Here

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[…] attention to Water, Katrinka- Posey, Not just Camp Lejeune with the TCE/PCE pollution issues: Lockheed: U.S. must pay for rocket-test cleanup noworldsystem.com Lockheed: U.S. must pay for rocket-test cleanup July 9, 2008, 12:54 pm Filed under: California, […]

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