2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 12 Feb 2003 17:37:55 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] [CPEO MEF] Perchlorate Testimony to the California State Assembly N
The following is excerpted from Lenny Siegel's written testimony
submitted to the California State Assembly Natural Resources Committee.



Perchlorate from solid rocket fuel, flares, “smokes,” and spotting
charges not only contaminates our waterways and aquifers, but it also
transforms into acid rain and depletes the ozone layer. In any case,
protecting the public from perchlorate and its byproducts would be
difficult, simply because of the magnitude of the challenge. But it’s
doubly difficult because such efforts must also overcome resistance from
the Department of Defense and its contractors. In the case of
perchlorate, the largest polluter—indeed, one of the world’s largest
polluters—is potentially in a position to undermine science-based
efforts to protect the public from a serious, growing threat to our

The Defense Department is concerned about the growing demand for
perchlorate investigation and cleanup for two reasons. First, it could
divert money from the national defense mission. Pentagon officials
estimate that its total bill for cleaning up perchlorate in water and
soil will run into the billions of dollars, particularly if aerospace
companies continue to pass on their remediation costs to the military.

Second, it is worried that environmental concerns will restrict the
continuing use of perchlorate-based fuels and ordnance. An
internalDefense Department memo states, “There is no known safe or
effective substitute for perchlorate in national defense uses.”

The Defense Department’s reluctance to support an aggressive response to
perchlorate pollution carries a great deal of weight. As the federal
agency with the largest “discretionary” budget, the Department has
significant resources to devote to this issue. Beyond its size, in this
period of heightened national security  concern, it counts on a high
level of political support, not only in the nation’s capital, but across
the country. And third, as a federal Department, it can sometimes inject
itself into federal deliberations on perchlorate cleanup standards
before those discussions become public.

The whole testimony can be downloaded as a Word document from:

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