2000 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 02:16:23 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Senate Vieques language
My earlier message on the House passage of the Skelton Amendment on
Vieques did not contain up-to-date information on Senate language. On
May 10, 2000 the Senate Armed Services Committee announced that it had
completed its markup of the Defense Authorization Act (S. 2549). I don't
know when the full Senate will consider the legislation.

That bill contains Title XIII, which primarily addresses the future of
the Naval Training Range on the eastern half of Vieques. In general, it
follows President Clinton's directive. However, it alters President
Clinton's proposal to require that a referendum consider live firing,
not just the use of "inert" weapons. 

The Senate committee bill contains no language pertaining to
environmental cleanup and provides no deadline for the transfer of the
ammunition depot. Thus, if no substantial changes are made on the Senate
floor, questionable House provisions could be clarified or even removed
in Conference Committee - if sufficient pressure is brought to bear. 

The bill also directs that the range be conveyed to the Department of
Interior should Navy training cease. Interior is supposed to manage the
property and keep people out of the live impact area, yet the department
doesn't have the money now to protect the public on the millions of
acres of former munitions ranges already under its management. In fact,
it refuses to take over such property unless directed by Congress.

Lenny Siegel


Lenny Siegel
Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
c/o PSC, 222B View St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/968-1126

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