26 May 2005

The Fight for New London Continues...

The fight for the New London SUBASE continues to ramp up. Of interest:

Regarding the first item, I have never heard of a state offering to pay to maintain a federal facility, but apparently CT offered to pay for dredging the Thames during the BRAC round of ’93, and even though the DoD did not accept the money and dredged the Thames itself, CT seems to think that helped. We’ll see. It is nice to see that they are focusing on military value instead of economic impact, as that is what is more likely to sway the BRAC. I am not sure what good $10M will do to increase the base’s military value, though, as the Navy seems to think that it will save over $300M closing NLON in just 3 years, and over $1.5B over 20 years (I would *love* to see how they come up with that number). If the BRAC balances the CT Senate’s $10M offer vs. the projected $300M 3-year savings on a purely monetary basis (which seems to be the overriding theme of the Navy BRAC recommendation), it is easy to guess which way their decision will fall, state support notwithstanding.

The list of polluted sites is an interesting way to highlight just how complex and costly cleaning up the base will be. You have to love the fact that if the Navy gets rid of the base, it has to be cleaned, but if it is just sailors they have to worry about, sure, the base can stay dirty. I do love the last site mentioned, though. The Tank Farm:

Nine 750,000-gallon concrete underground tanks were buried in a dredged lake bed in the 1940s. A number of petroleum releases have been noted. Tanks were removed or fixed. About 783 tons of contaminated soil was removed and the land now contains softball fields and jogging track.

The land *now* contains softball fields and a track? It did before they realized there were leaking tanks down there, too – suddenly the fields were just always soggy. Shut the fields down for quite a while for cleanup. Yeah, they claim it is clean now. I still wouldn’t let myself get too dirty on those fields if I were working out there… Also have to love the buried fact, “Oh the Sub Museum and Nautilus exhibit? Yeah, built on a contaminated landfill…”

If you feel that you have something the BRAC should hear, btw, you can contact them here, or mail them at:
2005 Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission
2521 S. Clark St., Ste. 600
Arlington, VA 22202
Or call them at: 703-699-2950

By the way, looking through the BRAC page, stumbled on the HON Gordon England’s bio. He has won the ‘Silver Beaver Award’. Hee.

On a slightly different note, the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry is finally reopening its U-505 exhibit (Chi Trib regis info to view: blurb@sofort-mail.de; password: noblurb). The original exhibit was great, and it plus hints of stories from my Grandfather really got me excited about subs when I was a kid. It sounds like the exhibit is even better now. I can’t wait to go back and check it out. (Thanks to the Sub Report again for the tip)


At 5/26/2005, Anonymous ze said...

... couldn't they just bring up all the coffee mugs and waht not off the bottom o the Thames and have a rummage sail to make some money?

i imagine there's enough there to do that.

At 5/26/2005, Blogger PigBoatSailor said...

There are also plenty of people who would rather some of that stuff never be found, lest it be traced back to them ;-)


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