2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 6 Mar 2003 16:32:24 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Environmental Exemptions Sought
Environmental Exemptions Sought
For Readiness Efforts, Pentagon Says It Needs Relief From Rules
By Eric Pianin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, March 6, 2003; Page A21

With war looming in Iraq, the Bush administration this week asked
Congress to exempt the Defense Department from a broad array of
environmental laws governing air pollution, toxic waste dumps,
endangered species and marine mammals.

The Pentagon says it needs the changes to ensure unfettered training and
readiness activities, and to provide the military with relief from
environmental regulations that protect endangered species and critical
habitats on millions of acres of military training ranges across the

But, in some cases, the plan would also grant state officials greater
flexibility in meeting federal clean air standards if they can
demonstrate there was a sudden influx of jet fighters, tanks and other
military hardware that added to the overall air pollution.

Congress rejected most of these proposals last year when they were
floated at the last minute by the Pentagon. But this time the
administration is moving early to promote them, and the House and Senate
armed services committees are giving them prompt attention by scheduling
hearings for next week.

The proposed changes, which began circulating on the Hill late Monday as
part of the 2004 defense authorization bill, is certain to trigger a
bruising battle pitting Pentagon officials and their allies in Congress
against environmentalists and Democrats who fear a major rollback of
some of the country's most important environmental laws.

Defense officials contend that their plan is designed to strike a
"common sense" balance between environmental stewardship and wartime

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