|From:||Lenny Siegel <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
|Date:||Sun, 18 Dec 1994 14:19:39 -0800 (PST)|
|Subject:||BASE CLOSURE: ASBESTOS, LEAD, RADON|
CLOSING BASES: ASBESTOS, LEAD PAINT, AND RADON The obligation of the Defense Department to clean up asbestos, lead-based paint, and radon sources in buildings at closing military bases has always been unclear. These are hazards that are not covered by the same regulatory statutes or environmental budgets as groundwater or soil contamination. In October, the Defense Department - based upon consultation among several internal offices - issued policies designed to clarify the DOD position. They new policies appears to say that the armed services will not remediate potential lead paint, asbestos, or radon hazards in residential structures unless they were 1) planning to do so even if the facility was not slated for closure or 2) direct to do so by Congress. ASBESTOS "unless it is determined by a competent authority that the ACM [asbestos-containing material] in the property does pose a threat to human health at the time of transfer, all property containing ACMwill be conveyed, leased, or otherwise disposed of AS IS [emphasis added] through the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process. Remediation will take place only if there is a health hazard or if the ACM's type and condition is out of compliance with laws, regulations, and standards. If demolition is planned, remediation will not take place. Detailed information about asbestos shall be incorporated into the Environmental Baseline Survey. LEAD-BASED PAINT In general, the military is responsible for inspecting housing built before 1978 for lead-based paint hazards, but it is required to abate such hazards only for housing built before 1960. Inspection and abatement are not required when the building is scheduled for demolition or non-residential use. The results of inspections "will be provided to prospective purchasers or transferees of BRAC property...." The policy also notes that on January 1, 1995, new Federal regulations, developed through the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992, take effect. Under that act, Federal agencies will become subject to state and local rules: "Therefore, there may be more stringent local requirements applicable to Federal property transfers." RADON The Defense Department has conducted a study of radon levels in a representative sample of its buildings. Any radon assessment data pertaining to BRAC property "shall be included in property transfer documents." In addition, "DOD policy is not to perform radon assessment and mitigation prior to transfer to BRAC property unless otherwise required by applicable law.
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