2004 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: 5 Apr 2004 20:12:30 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: Re: Lowry AFB Compliance Order
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[This reply came from the the lawyer who served on the National Academy
of Sciences Adaptive Site
Management study. - LS]

If you are looking for the state-of-the-art in assessing the risk from
asbestos based on residential exposure, you might want to follow the
World Trade Center health assessment.  There is an expert panel that is
reviewing the risk assessment prepared by EPA and CDC.  There are bulk
dust (the equivalent of soil) screening levels, regular dust screening
levels and ambient air screening levels for asbestos and a host of other
contaminants likely to be found in indoor air.

The broader point is that this asbestos liability is another example of
the DoD trying to avoid environmental liabilities. Unless the law
changes, however, I see no principled way to interpret the existing laws
as excluding DoD.  In fact, it is clear that Congress did not exclude
DoD.  Of course, the sovereign (Congress and the President) can change
the law.

The preferred solution is to establish a reliable method or methods of
maintaining long-term stewardship.  As you remember, the Adaptive Site
Management report of the National Academy had a good outline of some of
the issues that should be addressed. In my view, leaving asbestos or
anything else in place is more likely to be acceptable if there was a
long-term fund to take over management/regulation/oversight of these sites.

On asbestos, have you ever heard of a federal or state asbestos sediment
standard?  One of my partners has a not-for-profit brownfield
redevelopment client who is thinking of taking over a site with asbestos
and the Fish and Wildlife expert has asked if there is such a thing as
an asbestos sediment standard or sediment screening level.  I have never
heard of one and I do not think asbestosis of the lungs is problem with


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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