|From:||CPEO Moderator <email@example.com>|
|Date:||26 Apr 2002 15:24:33 -0000|
|Subject:||[CPEO-MEF] Environmental Funds to be Raided|
[THE FOLLOWING WAS POSTED BY Ted Henry (Kc2th2@aol.com)] The RAB at APG was informed last night that an action is in the works to pull 8 million dollars from its environmental efforts this fiscal year. This is being done to support the expedited chem demil process by PMCD. This will also affect cleanups at other sites as well, such as Rocky Mountain Arsenal. Obviously, the destruction of the chemical stockpile is important to everyone. However, I find it terribly pathetic that the DERA funds are getting raided again, particularly given the 48 Billion increase to the military that the President is so proud of. I should also mention that it is quite unfair to hard working restoration personnel to find out at the end of April that your budget for your current fiscal year is being cut by approximately 1/3. We will not even get into the money lost by having to demobilize projects in midstream and then bring them back next fiscal year. What is more distrubing is how money is being spent. At APG, they are spending approx 7-9 million dollars on bunkers to house the one-ton mustard containers until they are destroyed. These bunkers, as projected by PMCD, will likely be of use for 6 months and will not be usable for much else afterwards (i.e. these bunkers are not of the quality to use for recovered UXO storage after the mustard has been destroyed). Even if things get delayed and we assume they will be used for a year, I highly question the expenditure of 7 - 9 million for the level of protection provided. The bunkers are not built in a way to protect them from a plane crash much more than the empty layer of containers sitting on top them now - something the Army explained as being sufficient protection from a plane crash for decades. It should also be noted that the need to protect them better did not come up when a stealth bomber crashed a mile or two from the stockpile at APG a few years back. Another reason they said the bunkers were worth while was to get the stockpile separated into several groups whereby a plane cannot hit the entire cache with one shot. While I believe the terrorists would find far more effective ways to strike our country than aiming for a decaying stockpile of cannisters 1 mile or more from any population, separating the mustard containers does have some merit. However, I must believe, until shown otherwise, that it can be done for far less than 7-9 million dollars and still reach the same true level of protection.
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