Pentagon Says ‘No Thanks’ To Cleaning Up Military Bases
The Environmental Protection Agency and its beleaguered administrator, Stephen Johnson, have managed to stay out of the news for about two months. But the agency was the focus of a Senate environmental committee hearing yesterday on yet another pollution law being ignored by the Bush administration.
The Pentagon is refusing demands from state government officials to clean up three contaminated military sites, in Maryland, New Jersey, and Florida. EPA has authority, under the Superfund toxic clean-up program to back the states and make the Pentagon clean up these bases– which are full of toxins released from unexploded chemical weapons. But EPA has yet to exercise this power– even as the Pentagon has allegedly bullied these states by threatening to cut off funding for oversight activities.
The Pentagon defended itself at the hearing by saying they disapprove of state officials and EPA’s approach to the clean-up. Barbara Boxer, (D-Calif.) an ardent Bush administration foe, responded: “I don’t want the EPA making decisions on war strategy and I don’t want the [Pentagon] making decisions on environmental clean up.” I don’t know– maybe we should see if Stephen Johnson has been secretly spending his time cooking up an Iraq withdrawal plan.