1995 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Aimee Houghton <aimeeh@igc.org>
Date: Thu, 18 May 1995 18:44:35 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: Response #3 to Benson Letter
 Thomas P. Looby (Director, Office of the Environment at the
 Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Environment response:

 Lieutenant Colonel N. John Benson, Jr.
 Department of the Army
 Office of the Judge Advocate General
 Environmental Law Division
 901 North Stuart Street
 Arlington, VA 22203-1837


 Dear Colonel Benson:

 This is a response to your March 15, 1995 letter addressed to SAPC members.
 Before getting into the substance of our response please note that I am
 still the State's designated representative to the SAPC.

 We too were encouraged by the last round of discussions on February 24 and
 25, 1995. Good progress was made on a number of issues and we anticipate
 progress to continue in our sessions coming up on April 1 and 2, 1995.
 There are several aspects of your letter, however, which give rise to some
 concerns and which we would like to address at the outset of the upcoming

 First, the Superfund NCP and Colorado Hazardous Waste Laws and Regulations
 establish standards and criteria for acceptable cleanups which are
 necessary to protect public health and the environment. Under these laws
 cost is an important consideration but not the driving force. We are
 hopeful of formulating remedies which both comply with federal and state
 protectiveness requirements and which are sensitive to annual budget
 limitations of the Army.

 Second, we cannot be sure of our ability to accomplish both of these goals
 until we have had the opportunity to address all of the major sources at
 RMA in the negotiations. Since we still have several major sources to work
 through it seems premature to indicate that all has to be resolved this
 weekend or you will likely reduce your offer. We share your interest in
 making substantial additional progress in this weekend's talks. Hopefully,
 we will get enough done to achieve a satisfactory package. However, if
 we're only 85% complete and still making good progress we hope you are not
 suggesting that you are going to pull your money off the table, or reduce
 it substantially as the letter seems to indicate.

 Third, the level of funding the Army seems willing to provide is less than
 what you committed to Governor Romer and the Lieutenant Governor Schoettler
 and is less than the $2.3 billion offered in Colonel McGowan's October 24,
 1994 letter. With approximately $.75 billion already committed to or
 spent, the Army indicated you would provide an additional $1.5 billion.
 What is the basis now for reducing this level by $.25-$.30 billion from
 your earlier commitments?

 Finally, we understand the fiscal constraints under which we are all
 working. it seems to us that the wise course is for us to strive to reach
 an agreement on a remedy which is protective, complies worth environmental
 requirements, meets community needs and is fiscally responsible. If we can
 accomplish that then our challenge is to determine the relative priorities
 of the cleanup projects, schedule work on them over time, and work together
 in Congress to secure funding for them based on the agreed upon priorities
 and schedule.

 After we discuss the remedy options for the major sources we believe it
 would be valuable to discuss relative priorities of the various remedial
 projects. To the extent we can agree on the highest priority sites to
 address first that should promote consensus on an overall package.

 In preparation for the meeting there are two outstanding requests that we
 would like some information from you on prior to April 1. First,
 information that Dee Walker indicated he would get to us regarding the
 details of the water rights and water supply initiative for SACWSD.
 Second, information the Army indicated you would provide during our meeting
 between Gov. Romer and Undersecretary Reeder regarding your $45
 million/year administrative cost estimates.

 We are looking forward to the discussion this weekend.

 Thomas P. Looby
 Director, Office of the Environment


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