2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 2 May 2003 19:17:23 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Critics Attack Plan To Put Military Above the Law
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

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