2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: 6 Jun 2003 17:53:07 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: Re: [CPEO-MEF] Interim Guidance on Perchlorate Activities
I've been informally circulating this proposal for a few weeks. I
originally phrased it in legislative terms, but the strategy could also
be adopted administratively.  The Defense Department's draft Interim
Guidance already addresses some of the concepts I've put forward below.
- LS

Comprehensive Perchlorate Sampling Program
a proposal by Lenny Siegel
Center for Public Environmental Oversight (CPEO)
May, 2003

Long ago, before the Defense Department was subjected to regulatory
oversight on cleanup, Congress directed it to do cleanup anyhow - at
places like McClellan Air Force Base (Sacramento) and Tinker Air Force
Base (in Oklahoma). There is no reason to focus only on the regulatory
side of the equation.

The Department of Defense (DOD) has been doing some things on the inside
even as it rejects outside requirements. Navy documents mention a
perchlorate use study, but no one outside DOD has seen it. We've also
heard about a potential internal sampling requirement.

If the country is forced to wait for a promulgated maximum contaminant
level (MCL) to do much about perchlorate, it will be too late.

Therefore, CPEO is proposing the following national strategy for
addressing perchlorate. We are looking for feedback. The framework, at
this point, is more important than the details.

Congress should require, in the Defense Authorization Act or Defense
Appropriation Act of 2004, that DOD conduct a Comprehensive Perchlorate
Sampling Program, subject to regulatory oversight. Here are the basic
elements of such a program:

1) DOD shall update and release the results of its perchlorate use
survey within 3 months of enactment. The final survey shall include
current facilities, including operational ranges, former facilities
(including ranges, production plants, and Nike missile sites), and other
facilities where DOD is liable for cleanup costs.

2) DOD, in consultation with EPA and state regulators, tribes, and
potentially affected communities, shall develop a draft high-medium-low
ranking system of sites from that survey to characterize for
perchlorate, within 6 months. After a 30-day public comment period, it
shall finalize the ranking system within 9 months of enactment. Factors
in the priority system should include the type and quantity of use,
known and likely releases, potential pathways (such as adjacency to
sole-source aquifers), and community concern. Note that "priority" is
not the same as "risk."

3) DOD shall rank all facilities identified in the perchlorate use
survey, as high, medium, or low priority, within 18 months of enactment. 

4) DOD shall develop, with regulator approval, sampling workplans on the
following schedule. Sampling plans should be based on the possibility
that the science-based cleanup standard may end up as low as 1 part per billion.
High priority - within two years of enactment
Medium priority - within three years of enactment
Low Priority - within five years of enactment
Nothing in this schedule shall delay workplans or sampling already
underway or otherwise required by environmental regulatory agencies.

5) Nothing in this provision shall delay remediation already underway or
otherwise required by environmental regulatory agencies.

6) DOD shall ensure, through the sponsorship of appropriate research and
development by its Strategic Environmental Research and Development
Project or the Environmental Security Technology Certification Project,
that the technology exists to reliably measure perchlorate contamination
in water at levels as low as 1 part per billion.

7) Congress should authorize and appropriate sufficient funds to
implement the Comprehensive Perchlorate Sampling Program in the first
year. DOD shall request sufficient funds in subsequent years to
implement the program. Funds for this additional requirement shall be
added to the cleanup accounts (Environmental Restoration, Formerly Used
Defense Sites, Base Realignment and Closure, Military Munitions
Response) so they don't subtract from already identified and planned
cleanup projects.


Lenny Siegel
Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
c/o PSC, 278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/961-8918

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