|From:||Aimee Houghton <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
|Date:||2 May 2002 17:02:51 -0000|
|Subject:||[CPEO-MEF] Dear Colleague letter and Update on HASC Actions|
[The following letter was sent to the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee in response to environmental exemptions provisions proposed by Department of Defense. The letter was sponsored by the senior Democratic leadership. A total of 103 members signed theletter including a least one Republican. It should be noted that only 2 of the 6 provisions passed the full committee today--specific exemptions the Endangered Species Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. It was anticipated that an amendment on the Marine Mammal Protection Act would be offered up by Congressman Hansen, however that did not happen. The possibility still exists that these items could be offered up on the floor next week. Finally, there was a provision in the Committee Chairman's mark addressing the Utah testing and training range that showed up about 48 hours ago. Ranking Member Skelton offered an amendment to strike which was defeated 22-34. We will try to provide more details on that issue once we have analyzed it fully. --Aimee] Congress of the United States Washington, DC 20515 May 1, 2002 The Honorable Bob Stump Chairman House Armed Services Committee 2120 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 Dear Chairman Stump:
We write today in opposition to the environmental to the environmentalexemptions slated for inclusion in the Defense Authorization bill. Many of these provisions are under the jurisdictions of other committees and we believe until those committees have had the opportunity to review and debate these issues, and until stakeholders in these laws have a full opportunity to do the same, the House Armed Services Committee should no include these provisions in the Defense Authorization bill. The Department of Defense (DoD) has submitted a legislative proposal to exempt the department from six of our most important environmental and public safety laws: Endangered Species Act Marine Mammal Protection Act Migratory Bird Treaty Act Clean Air Act Resource Conservation and recovery Act (RCRA) Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA)
We are particularly concerned that there is an attempt to rush this significant legislative proposal into law without significant public scrutiny. This package was submitted to your Committee on theevening of Friday, April 19, only a few days before scheduled mark-up of the Defense Authorization bill. There has been no hearing on the specifics of this proposal, and only one hearing this year in the House Armed Services Committee on the general issue, at which time no
representatives of communities, state or local governments, tribal governments, industry or environmental organizations were allowed totestify.
We recognize the needs of the Armed Services for adequate training facilities to promote operational readiness. At the same times, we cannot ignore that the American public has a long standing and well demonstrated demand for protection of their natural heritage andinterest in keeping the communities in which they live clean and healthy. We are concerned that rushed consideration of DoD's proposal could undo the balance our society has achieved over the past three decades by carving out a special exemption for one aspect of society, the U.S. military, from the laws with which all other Americans must comply. Specific statutory exemptions or regulatory alternatives already exist in current law that address DoD's concerns. To address the issue of so-called environmental encroachment, we favor a broad and cooperative approach that involves not just the
views of Administration officials, but also those of the wide array of stakeholders in our nation's environmental laws, including federalagencies, state and local governments, industry representatives, tribal governments, citizen groups and others. Likewise, the effort to address this issue must involve the full consideration of these proposals by relevant Committees with jurisdictions over these laws.
Therefore we ask that before action is taken in your Committee on the proposal, the committees of jurisdiction receive full opportunity to study and comment on the Administration's proposal, and to solicit theviews of the states, the environmental community, and other stakeholders and advocate for the interests of the American public, before action is taken in your Committee on the legislation.
We appreciate your attention to these concerns, and look forward to working with you on a comprehensive and balanced approach to addressthis issue. Sincerely, Tom Allen (ME) Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ) John Dingell (MI) Jim Oberstar (MN) George Miller (CA) Nick Rahall (WV) Sam Farr (CA) Dick Gephardt (MO) cc: The Honorable Ike Skelton, Ranking Member The Honorable Joel Hefley,
Chairman,Readiness Subcommittee The Honorable Solomon Ortiz,
RankingMember, Readiness Subcommittee Additional Signers: T. Hall Hinchey Capps Waxman Gonzalez Barrett Evans C. Maloney Schakowsky McCollum Acevedo-Vila E. Johnson Capuano McKinney M. Udall Markey Blumenauer Inslee Eshoo Pascrell Delahunt Mike Thompson Defazio Honda Holt Wexler Woolsey McDermott Nadler Christensen Lantos J. Maloney Mink Andrews Kind McGovern Olver Baldwin Engel T. Udall Pelosi Filner Deutsch B. Frank Sanders Hooley Fattah Sherman Kildee Levin Rivers Kilpatrick Sanders Payne Meek Stupak Bonior Dicks Borski Sabo Roybal-Allard Doggett Serrano Sanchez Harman Solis Napolitano Towns DeGette Waters Shays N. Johnson Wynn Luther S. Brown Delauro Sawyer J. Davis Baldacci Boucher Price Hasings Lowey B. Lee K. McCarthy Menendez Crowley Tierney Berman Doyle Berkley C. Brown Baird G. Green Hoeffell 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: email@example.com www.cpeo.org
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