2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 22 Jan 2003 22:14:40 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Senators oppose military exemption: Pentagon's environmental proposal
_From Baltimore Sun January, 22 2003:

Senators oppose military exemption
Pentagon's environmental proposals raise skepticism
By Ariel Sabar
Sun Staff

January 22, 2003

Key members of Maryland's congressional delegation expressed skepticism
and outright opposition yesterday to the Pentagon's efforts to exempt
military training from a raft of environmental laws.

Sens. Barbara A. Mikulski and Paul S. Sarbanes, both Democrats, said a
recent series of articles in The Sun underscored the urgency of fully
funding cleanup programs and of holding the military to the same
environmental standards as industrial polluters.

"Parents shouldn't have to worry about chemicals leaking into their
drinking water or what their kids might find while playing in the back
yard," Mikulski said.

Sarbanes sharply criticized Pentagon efforts to slip free of some
environmental laws but cautioned that moves to fight the legislation cut
against the prevailing sentiment in the Republican-controlled White
House and Congress.

The Pentagon's request for $1.8 billion in cleanup money in 2003 was its
lowest in a decade, and a Pentagon official said yesterday that Congress
was likely to allocate even less as budget deliberations grind on.

The Sun articles Sunday and Monday highlighted shortcomings in the
military's cleanup of current and former defense sites. Though nearly 30
years have passed since the Pentagon started a nationwide cleanup of
waste buried on bases, there is growing evidence that much has been

Discarded grenades and mortar shells have turned up near houses at a
former base in Cascade, while a rocket fuel ingredient spreading from
Aberdeen Proving Ground was recently detected in the city of Aberdeen's
tap water.

Questions about the thoroughness of the military cleanup come as many
bases are preparing to begin new lives as housing subdivisions and

Pentagon officials say they are committed to cleaning up the military's
messes. But they say poor recordkeeping in the days before environmental
laws and budget limits have hampered their efforts.

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