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La pollution cachée des grandes manœuvres de la marine américaine

La pollution cachée des grandes manœuvres de la marine américaine
Le « petit jeu » hautement polluant de la marine américaine

Les (ex)actions de l’US Navy font polémique. Et pour cause : à l’occasion d’exercices au large d’Hawaï, elle envisage de couler 3 nouveaux navires. 109 vaisseaux ayant déjà été coulés durant ces douze dernières années, les associations écologistes haussent le ton. Et mettent tout en œuvre pour lutter contre la pollution occasionnée par ses manœuvres.

Du balais ! La marine américaine fait son grand ménage de printemps en mer. Elle ne peut pourtant ignorer les conséquences de ses torpillages pour l’environnement. Les bateaux coulés contiennent en effet, la plupart du temps, des substances toxiques dont des PCB, de l’amiante et des métaux lourds. Trois associations écologistes se sont mobilisées et sont même allées jusqu’à déposer un recours devant l’Agence de Protection de l’Environnement (EPA) en décembre dernier pour empêcher ces grandes manœuvres. En vain puisque l’Agence, qui nous avait habitués à beaucoup mieux, n’a pour l’heure pas donné suite.

La protection de l’environnement foulée aux pieds

L’impact écologique de ces naufrages forcés est difficile à évaluer dans la mesure où les quantités de substances contenues dans les bateaux ne sont pas bien déterminées. La pollution reste donc inconnue, autant la pollution marine qu’atmosphérique.

Toutefois, « en 2010, dans l’une des rares études sur les entraînements militaires en mer, les chercheurs ont trouvé une augmentation du niveau de PCB présent chez les mammifères et les poissons vivants à proximité de l’épave de l’avion USS Oriskany, coulé en 2006 durant des exercices. L’EPA considère toute exposition comme toxique, donc jeter dans les eaux américaines des PCB, de l’amiante ou des métaux lourds s’avère illégal pour tout le monde. Sauf pour l’US NavyCeux qui coulent sont exemptés », déplorent nos confrères du site Newscientist.com.

« La marine doit respecter les mêmes règles que tout le monde », rappelle de son côté un membre de l’ONG Earthjustice. Vœu pieux ?

Crédits photos : U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael L. Croft Jr.
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