2002 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: 25 Nov 2002 17:53:59 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: Re: [CPEO-MEF] New Perchlorate Policy
I avoided this language (excerpted below by Peter) in my original
posting because the issues are complex and their resolution are
uncertain. I'll take a stab at it now, but I welcome correction or clarification.

Defense Environmental Restoration projects, as originally defined by the
Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act, generally include the
characterization and cleanup of hazardous substances, pollutants and
contaminants; correction of environmental damage (such as unexploded
ordnance on former ranges) that creates an imminent or substantial
endangerment; and demolition and removal of unsafe buildings and
structures. Detailed explanation is in the Defense Environmental
Restoration Program (DERP) Management Guidance, available from

Note that installations may use the DERP Guidance to justify perchlorate
response expenditures, where there is a legal requirement, beyond what
is specifically authorized in the November, 2002 Perchlorate Assessment Policy.

Compliance projects are other activities, carried out by the Defense
Department to comply with statutes such as the Clean Air Act, Clean
Water Act, the treatment, storage, and disposal requirements of the
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and the Safe Drinking Water Act. 

Compliance activities are governed by DoD Instruction 4715.6,
"Environmental Compliance."
This Instruction defines four Environmental Quality Status Classes,
which I simplify below:

* Class 0 - Administrative costs

* Class I - Projects and activities that are currently out of compliance
* Class II - Projects and activities that are needed to meet anticipated
future deadlines

* Class III. Projects and activities needed to address overall
environmental goals and objectives. 

Generally Class III projects are more difficult to fund than those in
the other classes. The Perchlorate Assessment Policy, by allowing
anticipated perchlorate responses, required under the Safe Drinking
Water Act or other Compliance statutes, to be funded as Class II
projects, effectively raises the priority of such projects.

However, as I understand it, it remains Defense Department policy that
there can be no legal requirements for perchlorate cleanup or treatment
until official state or federal cleanup standards are legally
promulgated. That is, the Defense Department agrees that perchlorate is
a contaminant, but it doesn't believe that cleanup activities can be
designed until it is legally established what levels of contamination
may be tolerated in drinking water supplies. (Still, I believe that
installations may voluntarily agree to interim standards.)

I don't think U.S. EPA or key states agree, but this disagreement
highlights the need to expeditiously establish such standards.


petestrauss1@attbi.com wrote:
> Perhaps some can explain what the following paragraph means:
> "DoD Components can use environmental restoration funding only for sites
> that meet Defense Environmental Restoration Program (DERP) eligibility
> requirements in the current version of the DERP management guidance.  At
> other sites, this memorandum establishes DoD policy to allow Components
> to consider this a Class II requirement under DoD Instruction 4715.6
> "Environmental Compliance"."
> Thanks.
> Peter Strauss


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

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