2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 30 Sep 2003 20:05:46 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
For Immediate Release
Contact:  Meeky Blizzard     (503) 231-2006


Washington, DC - The fiscal year 2004 Department of Defense (DoD)
Appropriations bill passed last week includes $5 million requested by
Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) for critical funding to clean up
unexploded ordnance (UXO) on military sites throughout the country. UXO
includes bombs, missiles, and landmines that have been used for combat
or training but did not explode or which have been buried for disposal.

"By providing a constant, substantial source of funding for UXO cleanup
research and development, we will be able to implement new technologies
that will ultimately make it less expensive and more efficient to clean
up this pollution in the United States and throughout the world,"
Blumenauer said. "The presence of ordnance and explosives on former
military sites limits our use of millions of acres, whether it's prime
real estate or scenic open space."

The extra $5 million requested by Blumenauer was added by the conferees
of the DoD Appropriations bill last week.  This funding, which was
included in the Army UXO Research and Development Account, will go far
in helping the Defense Department develop new technologies to clean up

During debate earlier this year, Blumenauer highlighted the dangers from
UXO to our troops.  In late June, a constituent of Blumenauer's was
killed in Iraq while clearing landmines.  Recent press reports have
attributed several other U.S. fatalities and numerous injuries in Iraq
to landmines or UXO.  Fifteen U.S. soldiers have been killed in or
wounded by landmines since military operations in Afghanistan began in
2001.  Landmines also caused approximately 30 percent of US casualties
in the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

Blumenauer also argued that UXO threatens civilians around the world,
including here in the U.S.  A longtime champion of the cleanup of UXO
and military toxics, Blumenauer has argued that Congress and the
Department of Defense have been too slow in responding to this enormous
problem.  Last year, Blumenauer successfully inserted language in the
DoD Authorization bill requiring the agency to release an inventory of
UXO sites around the U.S.  The Defense Department has estimated that the
cost of cleaning up UXO on already-closed ranges and operational ranges
could be as much as $104 billion.

"Our troops face the dangers caused by UXO every day, not only overseas
but here at home," Blumenauer said.  "Unexploded ordnance, which can
kill our military personnel and civilians alike, is not just a remote
danger in some far off land.  This bill provides the funds to start the
clean up that's long overdue."


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