2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 13 May 2003 18:03:30 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Military can't justify environmental waiver
Military can't justify environmental waiver
May 13, 2003

Like many industries, land owners and even other public agencies, the
Department of Defense bristles at the requirements imposed by some
federal environmental laws.

So, the Pentagon is promoting the Readiness and Range Preservation
Initiative, which would exempt military bases such as Camp Pendleton
from habitat protections in the Endangered Species Act, toxic dumping
restrictions in hazardous waste statutes, mandatory cleanup of unspent
munitions in Superfund laws, restrictions on emissions from military
vehicles in the Clean Air Act and the prohibition on harassment of
whales and porpoises in the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

The Pentagon says these laws are harming military readiness. If that
truly were the case, if national security were threatened because the
Marines or Navy could not adequately train due to environmental
restrictions, then the military would have a good case for exemption.
But that's not the case.

A year ago, the U.S. General Accounting Office, a congressional agency,
completed a study about complaints by the Defense Department on
"encroachment" on military training by environmental laws, noise
pollution complaints (such as the helicopters at Miramar Marine Corps
Air Station), urban growth near bases and competition for radio
frequencies. What the GAO found was that while these problems may affect
costs, the military has not documented whether they affect training

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