The Pentagon is quietly seeking exemptions from the nation’s most important environmental laws.
The exemptions would give the military free rein to dump spent munitions, pollute the air and poison endangered species at its bases without risk of liability for any damage.
The proposal was slipped into the fine print of the 2004 military budget last week.
The Pentagon says it needs the exemptions because environmental laws get in the way of training troops. But a recent report from the General Accounting Office contradicted that claim. The GAO report concluded environmental statutes do not impact military readiness.
The exemptions were rejected last year by a Democratic Party-controlled Senate.
- John Kostyack senior counsel, National Wildlife Federation, expert on Endangered Species Act.
- Dan Miller, First Assistant Attorney General in Colorado.