Polluting Pentagon Rebuffs EPA Orders

Pentagon challenges agency's right to order toxic chemical clean up
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 30, 2008 8:00 AM CDT
Polluting Pentagon Rebuffs EPA Orders
Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., smiles in his office on Capitol Hill in this Dec. 13, 2005, file photo. Dingell is probing the Pentagon's environmental habits.   (AP Photo/Dennis Cook)

The Pentagon is holding out on an Environmental Protection Agency order to clean up pollutants from three military bases where chemicals have become an "imminent and substantial" threat to the public health and environment, the Washington Post reports. The Defense Department also won’t sign contracts to clean up 12 other military sites listed among the most polluted areas in the US. Instead, it has sought federal backing to deny the EPA’s power to issue such orders.

“This is stunning,” said an environmental law expert. “The idea that they would refuse to sign a final order—that is the height of amazing nerve.” A congressman probing the Pentagon’s environmental behavior said officials were dodging the law. (Read more Pentagon stories.)

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