|From:||Lenny Siegel <email@example.com>|
|Date:||23 Jul 2002 20:29:54 -0000|
|Subject:||[CPEO-MEF] Senate boosts BRAC funding|
Under the leadership of Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-California), chair of the Senate Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee, the Senate has boosted the fiscal year 2003 appropriation for Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) by $100 million for a "BRAC Environmental Cleanup Acceleration Initiative." The final appropriation will be determined in the House-Senate conference committee. It's difficult to get these numbers right, because Appropriations legislation sets aside money for BRAC funding overall, not BRAC environmental cleanup. From fiscal years 1990 through 2002, Congress appropriated about $22 billion for the Base Realignment and Closure program, $7.5 billion of which was allocated for activities associated with environmental restoration. As the realignment of Defense activities nears completion, more and more of the BRAC budget goes for cleanup. In fiscal year 2002 (the year beginning October 1, 2001), Congress appropriated $633 million for BRAC overall, $594 million of which went for cleanup. For fiscal year 2002, the Defense Department requested $545 million, $520 million of which was planned for environmental. The House approved the $545 million figure. Senate appropriators, however, expressed frustration with the slow pace of BRAC cleanup and property transfer. In raising the Senate figure for BRAC overall to $645 million, they wrote the following in Senate Report 107-202 - "Military Construction Appropriation Bill, 2003." *** ENVIRONMENTAL CLEANUP ACCELERATION INITIATIVE The Committee recommendation includes $100,000,000 for a BRAC Environmental Cleanup Acceleration Initiative. This initiative is intended to address the backlog of critical environmental cleanup requirements at military installations throughout the Nation that have been closed or realigned over the past 12 years. Until environmental cleanup at these installations is completed, the properties cannot be returned to productive use in the communities. To date, the Department of Defense (DOD) has transferred less than half of the property at closed or realigned bases, primarily as a result of delays due to environmental cleanup-related issues. According to an April 2002 General Accounting Office report, "Environmental cleanup has been a long-standing concern in the BRAC program - one that has been not only costly and challenging for DOD but also frustrating for intended users of the property. While DOD has already spent an estimated $7,000,000,000 through fiscal year 2001 on BRAC environmental-related actions, DOD expects to spend an additional $3,500,000,000 beyond 2001 to complete its cleanup work." The Committee remains extremely concerned about the pace of environmental cleanup at closed or realigned bases, and urges the Department of Defense to provide additional resources in future budget requests to address this urgent requirement. The Army, Navy and Air Force have identified a total of $237,168,000 in unfunded BRAC environmental cleanup requirements that could be executed in fiscal year 2003 if additional funding were made available. The total includes $44,868,000 for the Army, $133,100,000 for the Navy and $59,200,000 for the Air Force. Under the BRAC Environmental Cleanup Acceleration Initiative, the Committee directs that an additional $20,000,000 be made available for the Army, $55,000,000 for the Navy, and $25,000,000 for the Air Force for environmental cleanup. These funds are to be allocated at the discretion of the Services to meet the most pressing unfunded environmental cleanup requirements at closed or realigned bases. -- 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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