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Posted: 6/12/2002 4:02:37 PM EST
Fox News
The U.S. armed forces are fighting what could be a prolonged battle, this one far from dangerous hotspots like Afghanistan or the Philippines.

This campaign involves the military’s struggle with environmental groups who believe the armed forces are among the biggest polluters in the country.

"We need the military to protect the nation … which means protecting the environment as well," said Andrea Durbin, a spokesman for the Greenpeace environmental group.

Environmentalists are particularly angry with a proposal to exempt the U.S. military from several laws designed to protect the environment. And the top brass at the Pentagon are firing back, telling Congress those laws are compromising training areas and threatening military readiness.

"Environmental concerns are very ... very important and we take those seriously. But we must be able to strike a balance with readiness requirements," Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a congressional panel recently.

For example, because of endangered plants and animals along the 17 miles of coastline at Camp Pendleton, Calif., military activities are restricted to just a 500-foot stretch of beach. The Pentagon says it’s these kinds of rules that have to change if American forces can be properly trained for battle.

At the same time, the military is taking steps to become friendlier to the environment.

"Our budget request to the president includes over $4 billion for environmental programs," said Undersecretary of Defense Paul Mayberry.

Among the changes are new tungsten slugs for the fabled M-16 rifle, replacing conventional lead bullets that can cause toxic lead accumulations in the soil and ground water at military rifle ranges. Environmentalists pushed for the move, while critics said the new material costs twice as much as lead and relies on raw material supplied by China.

Nonetheless, environmentalists warn that if the military gets a pass on adhering to tougher new regulations, there would be little incentive to make choices "that either protect these resources or keep the air from becoming more polluted," said Marty Hayden, of the Earthjustice group.

The first victory in what has become a legislative battle has gone to the Pentagon. The House of Representatives has passed exemptions on environmental laws for the military, with the issue now moving to the Democratic-controlled Senate.
Link Posted: 6/12/2002 5:52:17 PM EST
If you are interested in this subject, be sure to check out article "No Place to go"
by Alan W. Dowd. It appeared in the March 2002 issue of [u]The American Legion[/u] magazine.
Link Posted: 6/12/2002 6:01:04 PM EST
I work for an environmental consulting firm that does work for the DOD, this is not new.  The DOD is basically being held to the environmental laws that other are required to follow.  In most cases DOD can be pretty nasty because of the years that they didn't have to face these laws.

The worst problem for the DOD is encroachment. As the yuppie scum more closer to bases building expensive houses they become offended by the activities/ training and make it a point to make life difficult.

I attended a seminar on handling activists.  Basically you need to include the people that really are trying do something in the decision making process.  However the hardcore activities, see 1960s hippies, will fight no mater the issue.  There are seminars for these activists to attend that instruct them no how to be disrupted.
Link Posted: 6/12/2002 6:09:52 PM EST
You know the thread title just filled me with an astounding sense of hope.... but alas, I sorta knew they meant a "political" battle.
Link Posted: 6/12/2002 6:10:34 PM EST
Link Posted: 6/12/2002 6:34:32 PM EST
When I was on U.S.S Forrestal I was the guy that got to dump the waste oil in the hydraulics shop. Ships company would make you document everything in the name of environmental friendliness, what kind of oil, how much, did it have solid particulates blah blah blah and you had to sign a log book to boot. Then the waste containers would get transfered to a ship whose job was to store it until it could be disposed of properly and safely. Of course if the disposal ship wasn't available for whatever reason or we were running out of room you didn't sign anything......you were told to simply chuck it over the side.
Link Posted: 6/12/2002 6:38:20 PM EST
Link Posted: 6/12/2002 6:49:45 PM EST
I guess the days of if you don't want to offload it send it periscoping are over?[0j]
Link Posted: 6/12/2002 7:05:58 PM EST
The government attempted to save money by closing bases but the cost of cleaning these bases has offset much of the savings.  

Most of these bases are being turned over to the state but the state won't touch them until they are clean.
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