Sep 19 2006

Icelandic Authorities Refused Investigation of Pollution on U.S. Armybase

Icelandic authorities refused to conduct an independent investigation into pollution at the US military base near Keflavík airport before negotiations with the US on the future of the defense agreement began this spring. Snorri Páll Snorrason, former health advisor with the Sudurnes Health Authority and a current employee of Almenna Consulting Engineers, which made an offer to Icelandic authorities to investigate the old garbage dump at the base, says that it is crucial to investigate ground pollution in specific areas, most notably the old dump. This is reported by Fréttabladid.

Snorrason says that certain areas of the base are known to contain a substantial amount of pollution, but that no one knows what is contained in the old dump. Environmental concerns were not prominent in the decades following World War II and toxic materials were dumped without people generally being aware of the implications. According to Snorrason, it could cost ISK 100 million, or possibly billions of ISK, to clean the area, and a better option might be to simply cover the area and prevent materials from entering the ground water.

Iceland Review