2002 CPEO Military List Archive

From: john.hopping@langley.af.mil
Date: 19 Feb 2002 21:54:12 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: RE: [CPEO-MEF] Digest for cpeo-military@igc.topica.com, issue 474
You might sound more credible and find people more receptive to your 
call to activism if you would refrain from exaggerating the truth.  You 
generalities such as that the military is "completely or partially 
exempt from most environmental laws" or that "CERCLA isn't applied to 
the military the same as private companies", is pretty much rubbish and 
you know that.  I can't speak for all areas of military environmental 
but from my 12 years experience in the Restoration Program I can state 
without doubt that we are
not "completely exempt" from "most" environment as you so easily 
incorrectly state.  In fact, we are exempt from few environmental laws.  
I can't think of even partial exemption although there may be some.  
Yes--CERCLA exempts us from getting "permits" and that galls states. To 
suggest that CERCLA isn't applied the same as to private companies is 
essentially a bogus tatement. CERCLA is applied to the extent that even 
RCRA is included as an RAR to insure it is covered.  We are required by 
law and follow and comply ith the NCP and CERCLA. Many states and EPA 
regions aggressively pursue big pocket military for low risk work where 
they don't even consider pursuing a private companies with the same 
conditions.  It is smarter and easier to
look the other way knowing that a large private company would tie them 
up in court for years or a small company wouldn't have the money and 
just ignore fines year after year. If you are going to address an 
inequity or problem, then be factual and honest.  We can't do an honest 
investigation or cleanup if we have to content with erroneous 
accusations and half truths.  Work honestly with us and we will respond 
in kind. I have never been told by any official at HQ USAF not to 
cleanup any CERCLA site.  However, I have been held up in cleanup by 
different states because they routinely run 6 months
behind schedule in their review and approvals.  I have a $1M project 
being held up for two years because they insist on a $150 RCRA well 
permit.  I can't do a permit because CERCLA says so. Besides a $150 
permit, what other exemptions can you list that apply to CERCLA cleanup? 
These are my personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the 
policies of the Air Force or this office. 

J Hopping

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