|From:||CPEO Moderator <email@example.com>|
|Date:||2 May 2003 19:17:23 -0000|
|Subject:||[CPEO-MEF] Critics Attack Plan To Put Military Above the Law|
ENVIRONMENTAL NEWS SERVICE Critics Attack Plan To Put Military Above the Law By J.R. Pegg May 1, 2003 WASHINGTON, DC, May 1, 2003 (ENS) - Congressional Democrats held a press briefing on Capitol Hill today to rally opposition against the Bush administration's proposal to exempt the U.S. military from five major environmental laws. The administration says the laws are compromising the military's training and readiness, but a growing coalition of Democrats, environmentalists, state officials and public health groups believe the proposal is unnecessary and ill conceived. The Bush administration has "failed miserably to provide any basis for these exemptions," Representative Nick Rahall, a West Virginia Democrat, told reporters at today's briefing. "This proposal is a classic example of a solution in search of a problem," Rahall said. The Bush administration is seeking exemptions from federal laws governing hazardous waste, clean air, marine mammal protection and endangered species. These laws are: the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), which regulates hazardous waste; the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, often referred to as the Superfund statute; the Clean Air Act; the Endangered Species Act; and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The proposal, which was defeated last year by the Democratically controlled Senate, is again drawing sharp criticism from state officials throughout the country, who worry such exemptions would shift undue burdens onto state governments and private industry. Associations representing state attorney generals, state environmental agencies, state pollution control officials as well as the National League of Cities and municipal water organizations, have all issued statements strongly opposing the proposed exemptions. There is further evidence that the American public opposes exempting the military from environmental laws - a recent poll by Zogby International finds more than four out of five likely voters say that government agencies should have to follow the same environmental and public health laws as everyone else. The poll finds that two out of three Republicans and "self-described conservatives" oppose exempting the military from environmental laws. The administration is using the war in Iraq and the war on terrorism as "an excuse and an opportunity to ram these exemptions through Congress," said Representative John Dingell, a Michigan Democrat. "Never has a proposal had more audacity or less merit," Dingell told reporters. This article can be viewed at: http://ens-news.com/ens/may2003/2003-05-01-10.asp ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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