2005 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: 15 Jan 2005 00:48:58 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] New GAO Base Closure Report
Military Base Closures: Updated Status of Prior Base Realignments and Closures

Government Accountability Office 
GAO-05-138, January 13, 2005

For the entire report, go to


As the Department of Defense (DOD) prepares for the 2005 base
realignment and closure (BRAC) round, questions continue to be raised
about the transfer and environmental cleanup of unneeded property
arising from the prior four BRAC rounds and their impact on cost and
savings and on local economies. This report, which is being issued to
the defense authorization committees that have oversight responsibility
over defense infrastructure, describes DOD's progress in implementing
prior BRAC postclosure actions. It addresses (1) the transfer of
unneeded base property to other users, (2) the magnitude of the net
savings accruing from the prior rounds, (3) estimated costs for
environmental cleanup of BRAC property, and (4) the economic recovery of
communities affected by base closures.

As of September 30, 2004, DOD had transferred about 72 percent of
504,000 acres of unneeded BRAC property to other entities. This amount
represents an increase over the 42 percent that GAO previously reported
in April 2002 and is primarily attributable to two large property
transfers. When leased acreage is added to the transferred property, the
amount of unneeded BRAC property in reuse rises to 90 percent. Transfer
of the remaining acreage has been delayed primarily because of
environmental cleanup requirements. DOD data show that the department
had generated an estimated $28.9 billion in net savings or cost
avoidances from the prior BRAC rounds through fiscal year 2003 and
expects to save about $7 billion each year thereafter. These savings
reflect money that DOD would likely have spent to operate military bases
had they remained open. Although the savings are substantial, GAO found
that the estimates are imprecise because the military services have not
updated them regularly despite GAO's prior reported concerns on this
issue. This issue needs to be addressed in the 2005 round. Further, the
estimates do not reflect all BRAC-related costs, such as $1.9 billion
incurred by DOD and other federal agencies for redevelopment assistance.
While estimated costs for environmental cleanup at BRAC sites remain
within the range of prior estimates, these costs may increase if unknown
or undetermined future cleanup liabilities, such as additional
unexploded ordnance or other harmful contaminants, emerge. Through
fiscal year 2003, DOD had spent about $8.3 billion on BRAC environmental
cleanup. It expects to spend another $3.6 billion to complete the
cleanup work. While most nearby communities have recovered or continue
to recover from base closures, they, as well as other communities, have
felt some impact from the recent economic downturn where the strength of
the national, regional, or local economy can affect recovery efforts.
Yet, key economic indicators--unemployment rates and average annual real
per capita income growth rates--show that BRAC communities are generally
faring well when compared with average U.S. rates. Of 62 communities
that GAO studied, 69 percent had unemployment rates equal to or lower
than the U.S. average and 48 percent had income growth rates higher than
the national average.


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
Military mailing list
  Prev by Date: [CPEO-MEF] New Mexico air range expansion
Next by Date: [CPEO-MEF] Last NAS perchlorate news reports for the week
  Prev by Thread: [CPEO-MEF] New Mexico air range expansion
Next by Thread: [CPEO-MEF] Last NAS perchlorate news reports for the week

CPEO Lists
Author Index
Date Index
Thread Index