|From:||Lenny Siegel <email@example.com>|
|Date:||6 Jun 2002 22:25:30 -0000|
|Subject:||[CPEO-MEF] House cuts Defense environmental R & D|
Congressional sources report that the House of Representatives has slashed the fiscal year 2003 budgets for two small, but important Defense environment research and development programs, the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) and the Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP). The House version of the Defense Authorization Act cut $8 million from the Pentagon's $28 million ESTCP request and $30 million (nearly half) from the $60.5 million SERDP request. The Senate Armed Services Committee, on the other hand, increased the ESTCP budget by $5 million for projects related to unexploded ordnance response, and it upped SERDP by $3 million for the same purpose. The full Senate has not yet acted on this year's Defense Authorization bill. The proposed House cuts are, to say the least, disappointing, and they are likely to severely hamper the work of these two valuable programs. SERDP and ESTCP work closely together. SERDP's research tends to be more basic; ESTCP's more applied. They support research and development, at military, private, and academic labs, on key military environmental challenges in cleanup, compliance, pollution prevention, and ordnance response. Though small, they have a great deal of leverage. One of the projects that I'm most familiar with is their support of Permeable Reactive Barrier pilot at Moffett Field - my "home base." The Navy funded installation of the Barrier as part of the cleanup program. ESTCP (and later SERDP, too, I believe) supported the evaluation of the technology, so the results from Moffett could prove useful elsewhere, and they have. These programs are also known for their foresight, identifying problems before they are widely recognized. For example, as we've reported, a growing number of military installations are finding perchlorate contamination in groundwater. Someone should be doing something about it, and in fact, they are. SERDP has been sponsoring innovative research into perchlorate remediation for at least a few years. Finally, the SERDP/ESTCP research office provides technical leadership for the Defense Department's growing program in munitions response. If Congress wants a more reliable, cost-effective program to deal with unexploded ordnance and explosive wastes, it should boost the programs that are likely to make that happen. This is the direction that the Senate is heading. The House, without much explanation, is moving in the wrong direction. Lenny -- Lenny Siegel Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight c/o PSC, 278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041 Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545 Fax: 650/961-8918 <firstname.lastname@example.org> http://www.cpeo.org ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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