2005 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: 15 Feb 2005 17:31:19 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Citizens Groups Accuse Pentagon of Freezing CW Disposal Funds
for immediate release: Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Pentagon Freezes Hundreds of Millions in Chem Weapons Disposal Funds 

Chemical Weapons Working Group
PO Box 467  Berea, KY  40403

Citizens Groups Accuse Pentagon of Overstepping Its Authority; Senators
Seek Release of Funds

In an analysis of funds available to proceed with constructing
facilities for disposing of chemical weapons stored in Colorado and
Kentucky, the Chemical Weapons Working Group (CWWG) believes it has
identified over $400 million in appropriated funds frozen by the Pentagon.

According to CWWG Director, Craig Williams, "It is beyond the Pentagon's
authority to take funds provided by Congress for specific projects and
spend them elsewhere without Congressional approval.  Such actions usurp
Congressional authority--it is the Congress that authorizes and
appropriates funds, not the military." 

The CWWG is not alone.  In a strongly worded letter of February 9th, to
the Undersecretary of Defense in charge of this program, Mr. Michael
Wynne, Colorado's Senators Wayne Allard (R-CO) and Ken Salazar (D-CO) stated,

"In your letter..... you wrote that you are not able to proceed with
construction at Pueblo because 'conducting operations at existing
destruction facilities must take precedence over on-going work at sites
still in the design phase, given the Department's limited financial
resources.' (emphasis added). You make this argument despite the fact
that in the last two Department of Defense appropriations bills,
Congress has provided significant funding resources for the Pueblo
project, including the $50 million in research and development funds
added to the President's FY 05 budget request by Senator Allard. We
understand a significant portion of these appropriated funds have not
been spent and could be used to complete early construction activities
scheduled for phase I and phase II of the project."

In its 2005 budget, the Pentagon cut Colorado's funding by $147 million,
which they spent almost entirely on cost overruns at other disposal
sites. Senator Allard later got $50 million restored for the Colorado
project, those funds are now frozen as well.. 

The CWWG believes it has identified over $400 million in funds currently
being held by the Defense Department specifically appropriated for
chemical weapons neutralization projects in Colorado and Kentucky.

In a statement released on January 27th, Senator Mitch McConnell said, 
"The budgets for demilitarization at Blue Grass and Pueblo have been
slashed, and the money has been transferred to other accounts in spite
of the fact that Blue Grass and Pueblo had succeeded in securing permits
from the local environmental agencies in record time. Destruction of
stockpiles at Blue Grass and Pueblo deserves full funding from the
Department of Defense, and I will work to put the demilitarization of
these stockpiles back on schedule." 

According to Williams, "The Pentagon is trying to conceal the ever
increasing cost of the chemical demilitarization program, particularly
at their incineration sites, by impounding funds for neutralizing
chemical agents in Colorado and Kentucky. It appears they intend to
continue transferring these funds to disposal programs at other sites
where costs have soared. The result is greater risks to certain
communities, increased disposal program costs in the long run, and
missed treaty deadlines."


For the original press release, 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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