2005 CPEO Installation Reuse Forum Archive

From: lsiegel@cpeo.org
Date: 24 Sep 2005 00:38:39 -0000
Reply: cpeo-irf
Subject: [CPEO-IRF] Camp Bonneville (WA) neighbors' critique
The Army's Faulty Cleanup Plan for Camp Bonneville, WA

by Dvija Michael Bertish 
Rosemere Neighborhood Association (Clark County, WA)
September 16, 2005 

With thousands of decommissioned US military bases peppered throughout
the country, the Department of Defense, Army Corps of Engineers, and
Army Base Realignment and Closure Department (BRAC) are responsible for
unilateral cleanup of these facilities, many of which are littered with
Munitions and Explosives of Concern (MEC), also known as Unexploded
Ordnance (UXO). Communities that have sprung up around these military
bases are facing a variety of threats to the public health and safety.
Residents are living among the dangerous remnants of discarded munitions
and chemical residues that lay hidden in the soils. 

Congress has mandated a cleanup program for closed military bases and
appropriates monies from at least seven national funds to sponsor the
cleanup process. However, cleanup progress is extremely slow and the
process is riddled with ethical dilemmas and political intrigues, a
quagmire of complex and burdensome negotiations between state regulators
and federal contractors. For example, the State Department of Ecology
(DOE) is the regulatory authority on the Army's cleanup of its
decommissioned bases in Washington State, but BRAC representatives
insist the US Army does not recognize DOE's enforcement authority.
Despite the Army's refusal to cooperate, DOE has final authority to
approve or disapprove cleanup plans for Camp Bonneville, WA, located
just north of the City of Vancouver. So far, the DOE has not approved
the Army's current proposed cleanup plan, leaving cleanup efforts for
the Camp at a stand-still and the state inching closer to litigation. 


For the entire article, 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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