2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 1 May 2003 14:17:00 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Hearing on DOD overhaul bill trumps readiness markup
Hearing on DOD overhaul bill trumps readiness markup
Suzanne Struglinski, Environment & Energy Daily reporter

The House Armed Services Committee has cleared its scheduled slew of
markups on the Defense authorization bill this week, including today's
expected vote on the Pentagon's request for environmental law changes,
to make way for a hearing on a Defense Department overhaul bill.

The Defense authorization markups in the House Armed Services Readiness
and other subcommittees have been postponed indefinitely. Instead, the
full committee today will hear from DOD officials and other witnesses on
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's Defense Transformation for the 21st
Century Act, which also includes the proposed environmental law changes.

Rumsfeld submitted the act just before the spring recess. It includes
several provisions to change the military policies including length of
service, age limits and pay rates, and shift certain military
responsibilities from the Pentagon to the private sector. DOD included
the Readiness and Range Preservation Initiative, its proposal to change
five environmental laws in the name of military readiness, in the act
"to increase our chances and get as much exposure as we can," a DOD
spokesman said.

The Pentagon is requesting changes to the Endangered Species Act, Clean
Air Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Comprehensive
Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, and Marine
Mammal Protection Act (Environment & Energy Daily, March 6).

Committee sources by press time could not confirm any witnesses or say
if the hearing would specifically address the RRPI provision in the

Meanwhile, a Senate aide said yesterday that the Senate's Defense
authorization bill will likely ultimately include at least the changes
to ESA and MMPA, with the RCRA and CERCLA changes most likely added by
amendment. It is unclear if the CAA changes will be added to the bill or
moved in another context, the source said.

Currently, the Senate's version of the bill, S. 747, introduced by
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner (R-Va.) on March
31, includes the RRPI in Title III, the Operations and Maintenance
section. The bill contains all the modifications the Pentagon submitted
to the Hill in early March but could change before the markup scheduled
for next week.

Schedule: The House Armed Services Committee hearing is slated for 9
a.m. on Thursday, May 1, in 2118 Rayburn.

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