2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 13 Mar 2003 17:00:22 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Military doesn't want to go green
Thursday, March 13, 2003
Military doesn't want to go green
Pentagon pushing for exemption from environmental laws

WASHINGTON -- In a contest of two powerful priorities, a pair of
congressional committees today will consider whether the military should
be allowed to damage the environment in the name of national security.

The question, which is before both the House and Senate Armed Services
Committee, won't be settled today. But it has ignited a sharp debate and
even sharper disagreements over how far the nation should go to ensure
that its military is properly trained and prepared.

At issue is a request by the Pentagon -- backed by President Bush --
that would exempt the military from major requirements of five
bellwether environmental laws. The laws form the foundation of the
nation's efforts to protect clean air and the health of marine mammals,
clean up toxic waste sites and ensure safe handling and disposal of
hazardous waste.

For Washington state bases, it is unclear what effect the change would
bring, but the stakes are high. There are more than a dozen military
facilities, including several large installations in the Puget Sound
area. Fort Lewis Army Base and McChord Air Force Base are in Tacoma,
while the Navy has an air station on Whidbey Island, a large shipyard in
Bremerton and a station in Everett.

Paul Steucke, chief of the environment and natural resources division at
Fort Lewis, said the base has had many successes over the years in
finding a balance between environmental protection and military

"I can't honestly tell you (troops) can't continue their mission,"
Steucke said, adding, "I don't think the exemptions would change our
management approach."

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