DearColleague.us

Letter

Earl Blumenauer

From the office of:

Earl Blumenauer

Sending Office: Honorable Earl Blumenauer
Sent By:
Tucker.Johnson@mail.house.gov

        Request for Signature(s)

Deadline: Monday, March 16

Click here to sign on!

 

Dear Colleague:

We urge you to join us in requesting $316,587,000 in funding for the cleanup and remediation of unexploded ordnance (UXO), discarded military munitions (DMM), and munitions and explosives of concern (MEC) on Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS) in the Fiscal
Year 2021 Department of Defense appropriations bill. We are also including a report language request that this increase in funding for FUDS go specifically to Military Munitions Response Program (MMRP) cleanup.

The FUDS Program, managed by the U.S. Army and executed by the Army Corps of Engineers, addresses environmental contamination at properties formerly owned, leased, possessed, or used by the military services. There are nearly 10,000 of these sites throughout
the U.S. and its territories, with 5,400 of them in greatest need, as they are littered with UXO/DMM/MEC.

While the Army Corps continues to make progress each year addressing FUDS, the pace is glacial. At the current rate of funding, the Pentagon estimates that it will take well over 40 years to fully complete the backlog. This is a problem that faces every
state, and nearly every Congressional district. It’s time for Congress to prioritize UXO/DMM/MEC remediation so we can move beyond this dangerous legacy.

Recently, we have seen a number of problems related to emerging contaminants, such as perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and the Department of Defense has been obligating funds to remediate these contaminants, often at the
expense of funding for the Military Munitions Response Program (MMRP). Therefore, we also include a request for the inclusion of report language that urges the Department to execute the MMRP in a manner consistent with their budget requests.

To sign on, or ask questions, please contact Martha Cramer (Martha.Cramer@mail.house.gov) in Rep. Blumenauer’s office, or Jay Campbell (Jay.Campbell@mail.house.gov)
in Rep. Crawford’s office.

Sincerely,

 

Earl Blumenauer                                                         Rick Crawford

Member of Congress                                                  Member of Congress

 

 

 

 

Dear Chairman Visclosky and Ranking Member Calvert:

It is because of your leadership that the rate of remediation for dangerous unexploded ordnance (UXO), discarded military munitions (DMM), and munitions and explosives of concern (MEC) has not dipped, despite tighter budgetary caps. We urge you to continue
this thoughtful approach by supporting $316,587,000 in funding for the cleanup and remediation of UXO, DMM, and MEC on Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS) in your Fiscal Year 2021 Department of Defense (DoD) appropriations bill.

We all take great pride that the United States military is the best trained fighting force in the world. As a result of this training, however, dangerous explosives and harmful contaminants are located on millions of acres of former military land, much of
which now serves as housing, schools, parks, and playgrounds. In fact, every state, and nearly every Congressional district, plays host to at least one of the nearly 10,000 sites (including Superfund sites) under Pentagon supervision that require cleanup.
Within those sites, 5,400 are FUDS properties littered with UXO/DMM/MEC.

In 1986, Congress established the Defense Environmental Restoration Program-Formerly Used Defense Site Program (DERP-FUDS) to address this problem by removing hazardous material from former DoD properties and allowing for safe reuse. However, three decades
later, we’ve barely moved the needle and the estimated cost of cleanup is over $11 billion. Current funding for the program is less than $250 million annually, which is one half of one percent of base Defense spending. At this rate, the Pentagon estimates
that it will take well over 40 years to complete remediation of FUDS.

We urge the Subcommittee to support funding of $316,587,000 in FY 2021, which is a $100,000,000 increase over the DoD Budget request, but only a $41,000,000 increase over the amount allocated by Congress in FY 2020. We respectfully respect that this increase
in funding for FUDS go specifically to MMRP cleanup. This is important not only because the FUDS program makes our communities safer and returns unused, blighted land to economic use, but also because the program supports our veterans. Many of the companies
hired to do this dangerous work are small businesses including Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (VOSB), Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSB) and Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSB). The companies doing the cleanup employ a large number of
former military Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Technicians and are dedicated to helping those separating from service make the transition into the civilian world. 

Recently, we have seen a number of problems related to emerging contaminants, such as perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and the Department of Defense has been obligating funds to remediate these contaminants, often at the
expense of funding for the Military Munitions Response Program (MMRP). The MMRP addresses munitions response sites and funds cleanup of sites that pose the greatest threat to safety, human health, and the environment. While we are not opposed to funding for
PFOS/PFOA remediation, we believe that the Department of Defense should budget for these cleanup activities and not divert resources from the MMRP. Therefore, we also encourage you to include report language in your FY 21 Defense Appropriations bill that urges
the Department to execute the MMRP in a manner consistent with their budget requests.

Congress should act to make decades-old FUDS sites littered with life-threatening explosives a thing of the past. Our constituents demand that the United States lead by example and keep their families safe. It is also imperative, in the interest of national
security, to ensure this material is inaccessible to those with nefarious intent. For these reasons, we urge you to provide $317,587,000 in FY 21 for the DERP-FUDS program and direct the funding increase to the MMRP. 

We appreciate your consideration and look forward to working with you throughout the appropriations process to strengthen our partnership with the Department of Defense and the thousands of local communities that have been impacted.

 

Sincerely,

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information:Appropriations, Armed Services

Related Deadline Information

Deadline Title: Support UXO Cleanup on Formerly Used Defense Sites in FY21
Deadline Start: 3/11/2020 9:00:00 AM
Deadline End: 3/16/2020 6:30:00 PM

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