1995 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@igc.org>
Date: Tue, 26 Sep 1995 09:52:10 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-military
In a reply to a September 12, 1995 letter from Congressman Robert 
Underwood (D-Guam), the Department of Defense (DOD) Environmental Security 
office has pointed out several practical problems - from my point of 
view, at least - in the Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) language contained in 
the Senate version of the FY96 Defense Authorization Act. The letter is 
signed by Patrick J. Meehan, Acting Deputy Under Secretary of Defense 
(Environmental Security)

1. The Senate language would preclude the first two options, including 
the use of regional service providers, described in DOD's May 24, 1995 
Federal Register notice. Only small purchase orders - less than $25,000 
each - would be permissible under the Senate language.

2. DOD already intends to establish eligibility criteria through the 
regulatory process.

3. Though the FY95 Defense Authorization Act gave DOD the authority to 
spend up to $7.5 million on RAB technical assistance, the FY95 Defense 
Environmental Restoration Account will be fully obligated and thus not 
available. It is possible, however, that some Base Realignment and 
Closure funds would be available.

4. The Defense Department prefers giving authority over RAB assistance 
to a "responsible DOD official," rather than the "installation 
commander." It says, "This would allow for a DOD executive agent or 
central Service or regional management approach." Under the Senate 
language, "communities near Formerly Used Defense Sites could not gain 
assistance because these sites are not installations with commanders." 
This would directly conflict with the intent of the Senate 
Appropriations Committee.

5. DOD prefers to continue providing RAB operating expenses using 
existing authorities. It says, "We believe it is best to keep 
administrative support issues (RAB operations) separate from technical 
support. We are concerned that a cap which applied to both 
administrative and technical assistance could lead to competition 
between the two kinds of support. If a shortfall occurs, we advocate 
supporting ongoing RAB operation before providing technical assistance."

6. DOD believes that the March 1, 1996 deadline for promulgating 
regulations - or losing funds - is too soon. It wants a year from 
enactment. It plans to continue administrative support while developing 
the regulation, but it will withhold technical assistance until the 
regulation is finalized. UNFORTUNATELY, this means that community 
groups will have to continue to wait for essential aid.

7. Noting that the Senate Appropriations Committee has proposed 
language providing for RABs at formerly used Defense sites where the 
cleanup cost exceeds $1 million, DOD suggests - as do most other 
stakeholders - that RAB formation be premised of a showing of community 
interest, not a cost estimate.

8. Finally, DOD feels that the Senate language would require too much 
reporting - a separate description of the activities for each of more 
than 200 RABs. It prefers the reporting requirements in the FY95 law.

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