1994 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Aimee Houghton <aimeeh@igc.org>
Date: Thu, 20 Oct 1994 10:55:50 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: Re: Priority Setting
 Balancing Risk and Affordability: Can It be Done?
 (33 lines of text)

 Paul J. Yaroschak
 Director, Environmental Compliance and Restoration Policy
 Office of Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Installations & Environment)
 Department of the Navy
 Washington, D.C. 20350-1000


 The number of hazardous waste sites requiring remediation both
nationally and internationally is large and growing. The cost of remediating
these sites is staggering. Since the national budget is essentially a 
"zero sum" game, restoration efforts are absorbing resources that would
normally be used to provide other government services.

 In the U.S., it is the role of President and the Office of Management
and Budget to present to Congress a national budget which balances
services provided to citizens while sustaining a healthy economy.
Within the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), restoration efforts are
diverting funds at the expense of DoD's primary mission. Many members
of Congress are concerned, and have acted to trim DoD funding requests
in the past few years. Can the DoD restoration program achieve a balance
between risk and affordability?

 In other words, can risks to human health and
 environment be minimized through a program funding profile that is
affordable? And what does affordable mean? This paper concludes that it is
possible to achieve such a balance and provides examples of stable funding
profiles for a national remediation program. The paper also discusses the
differences between risk assessment and risk management. Reaching
consensus on remediation investment levels is hampered because there is a
lack of understanding and numerous misperceptions about risk. People
perceive risks very differently. Therefore, the results of a pure risk
assessment may differ greatly with the perceived risk by those most directly
affected. An important element in the risk management approach the Navy is
trying to put in place is the education and involvement of stakeholders
at each installation requiring cleanup. The goal is to place each one
of our remedial sites into one of three risk "bands" using the advice of
local stakeholders.

With an informed and participating public, and using some of the analytical
tools described in this paper, decision makers in both the executive and
legislative branches of government can make more informed judgements
concerning the level of investment in restoration programs and competing
requirements. A "stable" investment profile is also necessary. A stable
funding profile will, in turn, tend to stabilize the entire process.

Finally,and most importantly, the involvement of affected stakeholders will go a
long way to build trust in our government.

**If you would like the long version of this document (5 pages) please
send an email message to: Aimee Houghton (aimeeh@igc.org).**

  Prev by Date: Re: Pollution Prevention
Next by Date: Re: FOREIGN BASES
  Prev by Thread: Priority Setting
Next by Thread: Public Participation

CPEO Lists
Author Index
Date Index
Thread Index