2002 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Aimee Houghton <aimeeh@cpeo.org>
Date: 26 Apr 2002 19:58:55 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Readiness Subcommittee Passes 2 Environmental Exemption Provisions
Yesterday the Readiness Sub-committee of the House Armed Services Committee considered their portion of the Defense Authorization Bill for FY2003.  As many of you know DOD has submitted a number of proposals for legislative exemptions from six existing environmental statutes.  In his opening remarks Chairman Hefley addressed the two provisions he included in his markup of the bill. (Chairman Hefley's quotes are taken from Environmental News Service.)

"From my first day as chairman of the Military Readiness Subcommittee, I have heard one consistent theme from both the top officials at the Pentagon as well as the men and women in uniform whom I have met from military installations throughout the country," said Joel Hefley, the Colorado Republican who heads the subcommittee, in prepared remarks before the hearing. "The ability of the Department of Defense to fulfill its primary mission to safeguard national security has been dramatically challenged - and in some instances diminished - due to its obligations to satisfy several important federal environmental laws."
"The land, waters and air space in which the Department can train its soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines have been restricted or lost due to the presence of endangered species, complaints about noise, urban encroachment and so forth," Hefley added.

With that, Hefley referred to two provisions one for the Endangered Species Act and one for the Migratory Bird Treaty Act that he included in his mark-up of the of the Readiness portion of the FY2003 Defense Authorization Act (these will be posted as soon as they are available).

The Congressman then went on to discuss the process by which DOD went about submitting their legislative proposal.  He appeared to be displeased with the timing as well as the fact that DOD had not made a strong enough case for the other four exemptions under: 1) Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA); 2) Resource Conservations and Recovery Act; CERCLA (Superfund) and the Clean Air Act.  He did, however, appear to leave the door open to be further convinced regarding the MMPA.  He closed his comments by saying:

"Given the time that the Department has given the Subcommittee to consider these significant adjustments to existing environmental statues, it would not be responsible for this Subcommittee to address these changes, at this time," Hefley said.

Discussion on the issues then took over the committee and both Congressman Hansen (R-UT) and Congressman Weldon (R-PA) voiced their support for Hefley?s provisions.  Hansen alluded to the fact that he may introduce legislation on the MMPA in the full committee.

Congressman Maloney (D-CT) spoke in dissent of the two provisions for a variety of reasons but most specifically because through process for review had not been applied.  He was the one clear dissenting vote on the passage of this portion of the bill.  Susan Davis (D-CA) may have dissented as she alluded to in her remarks but CPEO is not certain about that at this time.

We will post the actual language as it passed as soon as it is available.

The full Defense Authorization bill will be considered in the full House Armed Services Committee next Wednesday at 10 AM.


Please note new phone number and address below.
Aimee R. Houghton                                 
Associate Director, CPEO
1101 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 1000
Washington, DC  20036
tel: 202-452-8039; fax: 202-452-8095
Email: aimeeh@cpeo.org
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