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[CPEO-MEF] Environmental Exemptions Sought

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    Environmental Exemptions Sought For Readiness Efforts, Pentagon Says It Needs Relief From Rules By Eric Pianin Washington Post Staff Writer Thursday, March 6,
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 7, 2003
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      Environmental Exemptions Sought
      For Readiness Efforts, Pentagon Says It Needs Relief
      From Rules
      By Eric Pianin
      Washington Post Staff Writer
      Thursday, March 6, 2003; Page A21

      With war looming in Iraq, the Bush administration this
      week asked Congress to exempt the Defense Department
      from a broad array of environmental laws governing air
      pollution, toxic waste dumps, endangered species and
      marine mammals.

      The Pentagon says it needs the changes to ensure
      unfettered training and readiness activities, and to
      provide the military with relief from environmental
      regulations that protect endangered species and
      critical habitats on millions of acres of military
      training ranges across the country.

      But, in some cases, the plan would also grant state
      officials greater flexibility in meeting federal clean
      air standards if they can demonstrate there was a
      sudden influx of jet fighters, tanks and other
      military hardware that added to the overall air

      Congress rejected most of these proposals last year
      when they were floated at the last minute by the
      Pentagon. But this time the administration is moving
      early to promote them, and the House and
      Senate armed services committees are giving them
      prompt attention by
      scheduling hearings for next week.

      The proposed changes, which began circulating on the
      Hill late Monday as part of the 2004 defense
      authorization bill, is certain to trigger a bruising
      battle pitting Pentagon officials and their allies in
      Congress against environmentalists and Democrats who
      fear a major rollback of some of the country's most
      important environmental laws.

      Defense officials contend that their plan is designed
      to strike a "common sense" balance between
      environmental stewardship and wartime

      This article can be viewed at:
      Date: Thu, 06 Mar 2003 11:47:07 -0500
      From: cpeo <cpeo@...>
      Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Military Seeks Exemptions on
      Harming Environment

      Military Seeks Exemptions on Harming Environment
      By JENNIFER 8. LEE

      WASHINGTON, March 5 รณ The Defense Department is asking
      for broad exemptions from environmental regulations in
      an expanded version of a
      bill that was defeated last year in the Senate.

      The proposed legislation, introduced today by the
      White House, would give the military more discretion
      in activities that affect marine
      mammals and endangered species. In particular, the
      military is asking for exemptions from sections from
      the Marine Mammal Protection Act,
      which officials said would give needed flexibility to
      sonar and underwater bombing exercises.

      In contrast, the last version of the bill gave limited
      exemptions for small numbers of marine mammals in
      specified regions. Environment
      groups have criticized military sonar exercises over
      the last several years for beaching whales, in a few
      cases because of burst eardrums.

      In a modification of last year's version, this bill
      also gives limited influence for the secretary of the
      Department of the Interior, who oversees wildlife
      protection, in reviewing military plans that would
      affect endangered species.

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