2005 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: 20 Apr 2005 00:44:46 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] DoD releases Chem Demil funds for Colorado and Kentucky
For immediate release: 
April 19, 2005

Chemical Weapons Working Group


Additionally, Funding Is Back on Track through End of 2006 and Weapons
Transportation Option Is Off the Table "At this time"

In a letter sent to the Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives (ACWA)
office on 15 April, Acting Undersecretary of Defense Michael Wynne
responded to increasing Congressional demands in both the Senate and
House and reversed recent Department of Defense decisions that basically
gutted chem weapons disposal programs at the ACWA sites of Kentucky and

Following hearings in both the House and Senate and forceful speeches on
the Senate Floor last week from Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sen.
Wayne Allard (R-CO), Mr. Wynne apparently  decided to get the programs
back on track.

Last January, the Chemical Weapons Working Group (CWWG) obtained and
released internal DoD documents revealing proposed funding cuts for the
KY and CO disposal projects. Since then the Pentagon has been up against
a gathering storm of bi-partisan legislators who have not backed down
from their insistence that the safe and expeditious destruction of these
stockpiles be prioritized. 

Wynne's letter directs the immediate release of all 2005 funds for CO
and KY (about $300 million) that until now had been frozen by the
Pentagon. The release of these funds, along with funds requested in the
'06 budget should allow continued progress towards disposal through the
end of next year at both sites.

Mr. Wynne's letter also directs ACWA to "indicate the adjustments in the
FY'07 budget request", reflecting a willingness of the Pentagon to
increase the requested amount to allow for continued execution of the
two programs. The current '07 request is approximately $32 Million to be
shared by both sites. 

Finally, the Wynne letter suspends a previous directive that
transportation be considered as an option for the CO and KY stockpiles.
Resurrecting this option, currently forbidden by federal law, led to a
enormous outcry in opposition at local communities, and by State and
Federal  elected officials - all rejecting the concept of shipping such
weapons into their sites.

"This is a tremendous development and a win for the citizens of CO and
KY,:" said CWWG Director Craig Williams, "it appears that relegating
these sites to 'caretaker status' for the next five years is not going
to become reality."

Williams added, "The effort put forward by the Congressional delegations
from both states, was extraordinary in response to community concerns
surrounding the Pentagon's plan to stop the disposal of these weapons.
Senator Mitch McConnell led the fight, not only uniting the Kentucky
delegation, but in a series of letters, floor speeches and legislative
actions, put the Pentagon on notice that he would not tolerate anything
other than continuing the effort to dispose of these weapons,"

"We all owe a great deal of gratitude to Senator McConnell," said
Williams. "He has never wavered in his commitment to act in the best
interests of the citizens of Central Kentucky on this issue." 

A copy of the Wynne letter is available from the CWWG office upon


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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