Peace activists and grass roots environmentalists have an opportunity to work together: the Department of Defense (DOD) announced March 26 that it has identified more than 10,000 potential Superfund-type sites on its properties (and former properties) around the country.
Carl Schafer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Environment, testified before the House Armed Services Committee, that DOD has identified 3526 potential hazardous waste sites on properties currently owned by DOD and roughly 7000 more sites on properties that DOD used to own. These potential sites are the equivalent of Superfund sites, except that the military is excluded from Superfund. The military has its own Superfund-type program called the Defense Environmental Restoration Program (DERP). The DERP program has broad goals, including research into hazardous waste management technologies, detection and disposal of unexploded ammunition, and removal of unsafe buildings from DOD installations. Within DERP, the DOD has established the Installation Restoration Program (IRP) to deal with contaminated sites, so the IRP is the exact counterpart of Superfund. An IRP cleanup follows the same procedure as a Superfund cleanup: first, preliminary assessments/site investigations (PA/SI); then remedial investigations/feasibility studies (RI/FS);and finally remedial designs/remedial actions (RD/RA).
The Reagan Administration's budget request for the DERP program was $377 million for 1987 and $403 million for 1988. Mr. Schafer testified March 26 that the DERP program will require $5 billion to $10 billion in the next 10 years.
To request a copy of the list of 10,000 sites, you must send a Freedom of Information Act request letter to:
Office of Freedom of Information and Security Review, Room 2C757, The Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-
1400. Make your request as explicit as possible; for example, you could ask for a listing of the Installation
Restoration Program (IRP) sites in your state. For further information on the DERP program, contact Mr.
Schafer's office at: (202) 695-7820; for a copy of Mr. Schafer's Mar. 26 testimony, contact the DOD Public
Affairs office at (202) 697-5737. The number of the House Arms Service Committee is (202) 225-4151; the
Committee's Environmental Restoration Panel has oversight responsibilities for the IRP and DERP.
--Peter Montague, Ph.D.
Descriptor terms: dod; superfund; government; hazardous waste; defense environmental restoration program; installation restoration program; remedial action; financing; army; navy; marines; military;