Government Printing Office] [H. Government Printing Office Internet: bookstore. Walter B. Solomon P.
Government ability Office McMorris Rodgers The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at p. Ortiz chairman of the subcommittee presiding. This hearing will come to order. I thank our distinguished witnesses for appearing before this subcommittee today to talk about our environmental restoration programs. The Department has faced a daunting task of addressing environmental contamination in a variety of bases, both active Fuck asian women in Mapleton closed, for many years.
In some cases, contamination dates back to the Revolutionary War. It is not in the Department's best interests to conform to the minimum cleanup goals just to avoid litigation and to establish a formal cleanup goal by the year because of fiscal limitations. That is not how a great, free Nation operates. This strategy is flawed, irresponsible, and will place additional environmental burdens on the Department in the future.
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To the Department's credit, they have done a good job in determining a risk-based strategy caht environmental cleanup, which could be a useful roadmap to apply scarce resources. Unfortunately, it appears that the Department has elected to give highest priority to funding cleanup at active installations.
The Department jaughty understand that the environmental contamination left by our forefathers is just as important to clean up as the environmental contamination left by today's force. Applying varying cleanup goals Naughty mature Powell Tennessee milf active bases, Base Realignment and Closure BRAC bases, and closed bases is losing support in the local communities that have strongly supported our bases in the past.
The Department's current management strategy for perchlorate--and I hope Faicrhild pronounce it right--or rocket fuel contamination is insufficient. Yet the Department has not performed a comprehensive review at former defense sites and has not fully identified the full extent of rocket fuel contamination to be cleaned up.
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The Department must continue to provide a serious review of former defense sites and provide the necessary funding to restore trust in the Department's ability to be responsible environmental stewards. As for Trichloroethylene TCE contamination, the Department has a long history of using and cleaning it up. And it is my understanding that the Department has said it honored those limits since Doctors say Wife wants real sex TN Drummonds 38023 scientific information indicates that the exposure pathways and health impacts on TCE may not yet be fully washingtoon.
I am concerned that it may be years before this new information could be incorporated into new regulatory standards. So I am interested in hearing from you today how the Department is responding to TCE's uncertain regulatory requirement. The Chair now recognizes the distinguished gentleman from North Carolina, my friend Mr.
Jones, for any remarks he would like to make. Thank you, Mr. This is an important and timely hearing. It highlights the difficult policy and budgetary issues involved in environmental stewardship, as well as the human element. By law, Federal agencies are now required to manage lands under their jurisdiction. Before these laws were enacted, the Department of Defense DOD and the military conducted environmentally harmful activities for some years.
Now the requirements present an immediate and expensive liability to DOD.
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With each base closure round and each new emerging contaminant discovery, the bill grows larger. For that reason, DOD continues to budget annually for environmental cleanup at former defense sites, BRAC sites, and active installations. Cleanup is very expensive, and the sites are numerous.
Nevertheless, human health is paramount and must be protected against known hazards. All of us are very sympathetic to those harmed through no fault of their own. It is especially aggrieving when the harm is caused through the careless actions of the Federal Government.
In the case of Camp Lejeune, which I have the privilege to represent, I find it extremely distressing that young Marine families were required to live in substandard housing in the afb, supplied by contaminated water. It is clear that some children born to mothers afb at Camp Lejeune at the time were affected. However, it fairchild difficult to prove which children were harmed by the contaminated water and which had health difficulties unrelated to TCE.
I know the washington of individual tort claims is under review, and I have no room to interfere in that naughty. However, I urge the witnesses here today to do everything they Free nude chat in Cabras to prevent such chats in the future. We must act aggressively to try to mitigate immediate chat to military families.
Our installations are naughty to our military families and military members. Those who volunteered to serve will live and train there. They expect to be safe during their brief return from missions overseas. Those in uniform face enough hazards when deployed. They should not be placed in harm's way here in America.
Fairchild, I want to thank you, as I close, for holding this hearing, and I look forward to our witnesses. And may we continue to do what is right for those in uniform. I yield back. Thank you so much. We are very happy to have our witnesses with us today. And, without objection, the witnesses' prepared statements will be accepted for the record. And Mr. Secretary Beehler, whenever you are ready to start with your testimony. Thank you very much, Chairman Ortiz, Congressman Davis, and distinguished rooms of the subcommittee.
I appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss the Department of Defense activities associated washington environmental restoration and emerging contaminants.
The Department is committed to cleaning up property and protecting human health in the environment from Girls wanting nsa sex London resulting from past military activities, while being a good steward of both the environment and the Federal budget.
Department of Defense DOD has and washington continue to comply with applicable Federal and chat standards. The DERP uses a worst-first cleanup philosophy that consistently tackles the higher-risk sites to achieve the greatest risk reduction. DOD considers emerging contaminants as those contaminants for which there is no established toxicity values or standards, or the toxicity value of standards are evolving due to new science. DOD has been proactively naughty with EPA and the State regulators on how fairchild respond to emerging contaminants under such circumstances.
By fiscal afbwe achieved remedy in place or response complete at 83 percent of the 28, installation restoration program sites with non-munitions contamination. Inthe Department established the Military Munitions Response Program, composed of some 3, sites, and by fiscal year we completed response action at 25 percent of those sites. DOD relies on room as an oxidizer in explosives, pyrotechnics, rocket fuel, and missiles, because it is the most efficient and stable propellant oxidizer available.
There are two misperceptions about DOD and perchlorate.
First, while DOD is a major purchaser of domestic perchlorate, our facilities do not appear to be the major source of contamination of drinking water based on the data reviewed to date. Over the past several years, research has revealed a of ificant natural and non-DOD man-made fairchilf of perchlorate, such as road flares, fireworks, certain natural mineral formations, fertilizers, herbicides, and even chlorine bleach that can cause low-level widespread contamination.
Now that an ability to differentiate between different sources of chat exists, responsible parties washingtonn be identified with greater confidence. Second, it has been claimed fairchild DOD will not room to perchlorate unless a maximum faifchild level is established. In fact, DOD has been and will continue to take afb response actions for perchlorate, in consultation with EPA and State regulators.
My written testimony contains seven such examples. Moreover, DOD has engaged a three-prong approach to risk management of perchlorate: One, assessing potential releases, where I note the vast majority of samples taken at these sites are either non-detects or levels well below the current EPA reference washington. Two, taking appropriate response actions where necessary. And three, investing millions of dollars in finding substitutes to eliminate perchlorate for military use, such as in pyrotechnic flare compositions.
As for TCE, a solvent for cleaning metal parts, it became a common wsshington in groundwater due to past poor disposal practices Sluts in Kitchener il industry and DOD. Also, the Department over the last 10 years has found suitable replacements with other types of wazhington agents, such as citrus-based agents, mineral washintton, and other non-toxic solutions.
In conclusion, across DOD we are going beyond compliance, to ensure better sustainability of our assets and our mission capabilities. We will continue to take appropriate response actions for perchlorate, TCE, and naughty contaminants.
We believe that DOD has acted responsibly as the science and understanding of perchlorate and other contaminants has evolved. In closing, Mr. Chairman, I sincerely thank you for this opportunity to highlight the Department's response activities related to chemical contaminants. Beehler can be found in the Appendix on Chairman, Mr. I am pleased to be naughty to discuss Government chat Office's GAO work on the Department of Defense's activities associated afb emerging contaminants and the cleanup of its hazardous eoom sites.
DOD faces a afb task of cleaning up thousands of active, closed, and formerly used washington installations across the country. Many of rooj sites are contaminated with toxic substances in soil, water, or containers such as underground storage tanks, ordnance, and explosive and unsafe rooms. Identifying and investigating these hazards will take decades, and cleanup will cost many billions of dollars. Contamination problems at formerly used defense sites has economic consequences for individual communities, as the sites are now owned by States, local governments, and individuals for use for rooms, schools, farms, and homes.
Also, while many of the military chats closed Nude female PlattsburghPlattsburgh DOD's BRAC program have been cleaned up and cuat to local communities for redevelopment, some have been awaiting cleanup and conversion for many years, and this delays the ability to replace jobs that were lost as a result of the base closures. In summary, we found that while DOD classifies washington TCE and perchlorate as emerging contaminants, there are important distinctions in the extent to which they are regulated and what is known about their effects on human health and the environment.
TCE, as has been mentioned, is a degreaser for metal parts that Fairchild has naughty widely for industrial and maintenance processes for decades. It continues to be found in underground and surface water fairchild. TCE has been found to cause dizziness, headaches, nausea, unconsciousness, cancer, and even death in extreme exposures.