2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 7 May 2003 15:00:20 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Pentagon makes a huge environmental mistake
Pentagon makes a huge environmental mistake
May 3, 2003

Back from spring recess, Congress continues to face a Pentagon request
for broad exemptions from legal accountability for environmental damage.
These are the same environmental laws, regulations, and standards by
which the U.S. government holds accountable the entire private sector
and other federal, state, and local government entities. Unfortunately,
the proposed legislation will intensify, not resolve, the military's
long-range fiscal and environmental problems and will impose an enormous
unfunded mandate on cash-strapped states. Furthermore, these exemptions
will undoubtedly impact redevelopment of the bases slated for closure in

Compared to the private sector and other federal agencies, the Pentagon
belatedly recognized the national mandate for environmental protection.
Only after the late Rep. Mike Synar, D.-Okla., asked pointed questions
in the early 1980s about the environmental and health threats from
military facilities did the Department of Defense (DoD) began grappling
with the impacts of its operations on its own personnel, installations,
and budgets. In 1984, Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, led the first
legislative effort to begin cleaning up closed bases.

The military's fledgling environmental program got a much-needed boost
in 1989 when then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney issued a memo calling
for DoD to be the "federal leader in agency environmental compliance and
protection" and to meet its "commitment with accountability."

He added, "Federal facilities, including military bases, must meet
environmental standards."

Three years later, President George H. W. Bush signed the Federal
Facilities Compliance Act, explicitly holding federal facilities to the
same standards as the private sector for handling and cleaning up
hazardous wastes. By the mid-1990s base commanders were accepting
environmental stewardship as part of their mission.

This editorial can be viewed at:

  Prev by Date: Re: [CPEO-MEF] Sec. of Defense Announces Annual Env.AwardWinners
Next by Date: Re: [CPEO-MEF] Bechtel's Nuclear Nightmares
  Prev by Thread: [CPEO-MEF] Senators turn up heat on river chemical leak
Next by Thread: [CPEO-MEF] Boxer prods Army on local water woes

CPEO Lists
Author Index
Date Index
Thread Index