2000 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Aimee Houghton <aimeeh@cpeo.org>
Date: Tue, 15 Aug 2000 15:16:29 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Range Rule Promulgation Come & Gone
The final Range Rule promulgation deadline of August 6, 2000 has come and 
gone and still the Range Rule sits at OMB.  This comes as really no suprise 
to people who have been involved in this process.  DOD, EPA and other 
federal agencies are still in negotiation over areas of disagreement within 
the Rule.

As the rule-making process only allows for federal agency review at this 
stage, it is anyone's guess as to the nature of the disputes.  However, 
based upon historic differences regarding the scope of the Range Rule and 
things we have discerned, it can probably be safely concluded that they 
consist of:

1.  Dispute Resolution.  The Range Rule defers ultimate dispute resolution 
to the Department of Defense.  In other words, the polluter is the final 
arbitrator.  While top-level resolutions may be few, it is fairly certain 
this will influence decisions at all levels.
2.  CERCLA or CERCLA-like.  It appears that DOD wants to pick and choose 
which CERCLA provisions and the NCP provisions for which it should be held 
accountable.  In other words they want to cobble together a regulatory 
scheme of their own devising.  Other stakeholders in this process have 
argued that private polluters don't have that option and neither should DOD.
3.  I have heard the the Range Rule now contains something titled: 
Emergency Accelerated Response.  Apparently this allows DOD to determine 
unilaterally when there is an emergency, what responses are appropriate to 
mitigate or dispose of the threat under an explosives safety 
arguement.  THis appears to be similar in procedure to a time crtical 
removal action, thereby avoiding most of the NCP standards and stakeholder 
input and involvement.

What will happen now?  It is highly doubtful that this rule will be 
promulgated before the end of this administration.  This should come as no 
great suprise as it seems that is what DOD has been working towards for the 
last two years.  I have heard that the new "drop-dead" date or week (as the 
case may be) is right after Labor Day.  This seems highly unlikely as the 
areas of disagreement are so large.

At the moment it appears that the Range Rule partnering process (and I 
should mention here that the states, who have been part of this process up 
until DOD provided EPA with the revised rule last December, have not been 
active sincen then in light of the federal rule making process) seems only 
to be working for DOD.  They are benefiting from what appears to be an 
illusion of partnership.

Though OMB cannot actually provide citizens with any information about the 
Range Rule, you can meet with them or write to them expressing your 
concerns.  For the moment this is the only avenue we have at our disposal.


Aimee R. Houghton
CPEO, Associate Director
122 C Street NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC  20001-2109
tel: 202-662-18888; fax: 202-628-1825
Email: aimeeh@cpeo.org

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