2005 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: 3 Jan 2005 21:49:26 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Boston Globe criticized DOD on environment
The enemy within

Boston Globe
January 3, 2005

WHEN IT comes to despoiling the environment, the Department of Defense
has the worst record of any federal agency. It promised to turn a new
leaf in 1996, when it adopted a directive committing it to
"environmental security leadership." Now it wants to drop that policy in
favor of managing its facilities "to sustain the national defense
mission." The draft of the new directive refers to preventing pollution,
but the focus is on "mission accomplishment" and enhanced readiness.

The Pentagon's new leaf is losing its green faster than a New England
maple in October.

The proposed new directive comes on top of the Defense Department's
success at getting Congress to exempt its training operations from the
Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammals Protection Act. Congress
went along with this even though it had always granted case-by-case
exemptions on national security grounds. There is no record of any
training operation ever being hindered by compliance with an
environmental law.

Emboldened by Congress's willingness to put military training outside
the reach of those two laws, the Pentagon is now asking for certain
activities to be exempt from provisions of the Clean Air Act and laws
governing munitions disposal and toxic wastes. If it gets this
authority, the public should be on the lookout for more toxic waste
pollution around military bases, such as the contaminated drinking water
aquifer under Cape Cod's Massachusetts Military Reservation. The
Pentagon already controls about 140 of the nation's 1,240 toxic
Superfund sites.


For the entire editorial, see


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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