The Army's Cleanup Commitment
Regarding the June 30 front-page article "Pentagon Fights EPA on Pollution Cleanup":
The U.S. Army is committed to protecting human health and the environment at installations and in neighboring communities. Of the 33 Army sites on the Environmental Protection Agency's National Priorities List (NPL), the Army has worked closely with the EPA to complete 31 interagency cleanup agreements, including one in March for Fort Eustis, Va. The Army has consistently expressed a strong desire to enter into cleanup agreements for its remaining NPL sites, at Fort Meade, Md., and Redstone Arsenal, Ala.
Since 1984, the Army has, with the EPA's agreement on plans and timelines, been conducting cleanup activities at Fort Meade under the Superfund laws. To date, the Army has spent over $84 million to clean up 32 of the 51 contaminated sites at Fort Meade and has budgeted over $24 million for completion of the effort. The Army has performed all cleanup work that the EPA has requested, and it has coordinated and obtained EPA agreement on all program management plans, reports of work performed, and cleanup levels and remedies. The Army also works closely with state regulators and community members on the Restoration Advisory Boards associated with cleanup projects.
The EPA recently recommended placing Fort Detrick, Md., on the NPL. Since 1994, the Army has spent over $43 million on successful cleanups at 35 of the 42 contaminated sites at Fort Detrick. By early 2009, an additional six sites will have been completed, leaving only the Area B groundwater site with work underway; $8 million is budgeted to complete remaining cleanup.
The Army fully supports a fresh approach to completing this endeavor and is working with the EPA, the state of Maryland, and the community on the plans.
The Army takes its environmental responsibilities very seriously. We all have the same goal -- a healthier environment for future generations.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army
for Environment, Safety
and Occupational Health