Page images
PDF
EPUB
[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]
[graphic]

production of ozone-depleting
substances by 1995. DOD developed
a program to help achieve the
President's goal through initiatives
such as the following:
• Army. To reduce reliance on
chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and
halons, the Army is developing
programs to apply current-technology
chemicals and processes to weapon
systems applications.
• Navy. To focus on use reduction
through alternative non-CFC
technologies, chemical conservation,
and inventory management, the Navy
is supporting research on substitute
materials in two industry/government
consortia—Halon Alternatives
Research Corporation and the
Solvents Working Group.
• Air Force. In addition to use
reduction, the Air Force is working
with industry to find or develop CFC
replacements, with emphasis on
alternatives to substance CFC-113
and methyl chloroform.

Environmental Restoration

In 1992 DOD accelerated characterizations of remaining contaminated sites and developed cost-reduction initiatives in an effort to produce a comprehensive restoration strategic plan to be completed by 1995. The department conducted 180 remedial actions at military installations on the National Priorities List, which included the following:

• Immediate response actions to
protect public health;
• Immediate removal of
contaminants;
• Alternative drinking water supplies,
and
• Installation of permanent remedies
such as groundwater-treatment
facilities.

To date, 40 states and territories have entered into memoranda of agreement with DOD to support environmental restoration at over 400 military installations. Through cooperative agreements, DOD has reimbursed states more than $16 million for services to

expedite the review and approval of studies and cleanup decisions.

Natural and Cultural Resources

DOD sponsors the Legacy Resource Management Program to integrate biological, cultural, and geophysical resources with the demands of the military mission. The program emphasizes the stewardship of DOD lands and gives priority to identifying, conserving, and restoring natural and cultural resources. To demonstrate more effective conservation techniques, the program evaluates natural and cultural resources for their significance to such values as biodiversity and historic interpretation. DOD works through partnerships with federal, state, and local agencies and private groups.

In 1992 DOD received 1,000 Legacy proposals from the military services and another 100 proposals from private groups or other agencies. The department added 300 new Legacy demonstration projects for a total of 400 conservation projects throughout the United States and U.S. territories. Examples of Legacy natural resourceprojects follow

Management Data. The Army has developed an Integrated Training Area Management Program (ITAM) to help military trainers manage natural resources. ITAM generates data on soil types, vegetative cover, and equipment size and weight useful in management

decisions regarding the rest and rotation of training lands. Implemented on 53 Army and Marine Corps installations in the United States and abroad, ITAM assists planners of base realignment and closures determine the capability of land to sustain reuse proposals.

Revitalizing Wetlands. In another Legacy project, DOD is working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and 17 conservation groups to revitalize wetlands on military installations. For example, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, and the Nature Conservancy developed an accord to protect 5,000 acres of wetlands, 9,000 acres of undisturbed dunes, relic stands of native bunchgrass, and the largest existing remnant of globally rare Burton Mesa chaparral. The Navy joined with the Defenders of Wildlife to establish a Watchable Wildlife area at the Sprague Neck Bar Ecological Reserve, on land held by Naval Communications in Cutler, Maine. The area, a long cobble beach reaching into Machias Bay, hosts bald eagles and migrating shorebirds and waterfowl.

Cultural Resources. Legacy projects also include restoring historic buildings and sites such as a World War II chapel at Adak, Alaska; public awareness; archeological procedures; ethnohistories and oral histories; rock art; historic preservation technology; and conservation of Cold War artifacts.

Economics

D

Also see Budget, Private Sector Initiatives, Pollution Prevention and related tables and
figures in Part II.
uring much of the last century,

Conditions and Trends
Americans—both producers and

consumers-depleted natural Despite the environmental progress resources with little thought for the recorded during the last generation, environmental damage they were caus- many producers and consumers contining. The nation continued to overlook ue to make choices that unnecessarily environmental damages until polluted deplete or degrade natural resources. water and air began to threaten human One reason is that often the costs, parhealth, and native species and ecosys- ticularly the environmental costs, of tems began to disappear. Then, in the using natural resources are not fully last 30 years, the public began to see paid by the users. If the costs of using how human activities could deplete natural resources do not reflect full resources and damage the environment, costs, producers and consumers have harming the wellbeing of present and little incentive to use them efficiently. future generations. The nation respond- For example, if polluters do not have to ed by enacting legislation, implement- pay the cost of using air or water ing policies, and taking private resources, then they have no incentive initiatives to restore and protect the to limit or clean up their emissions. The environment. Americans also recog- federal government has begun to implenized the need to provide for a healthy ment a variety of policies to ensure that economy while protecting the environ- economic actors recognize the full cost ment. To meet this need, policymakers of using natural resources and, accordin 1992 developed policies and prac- ingly, better manage these resources. tices to harmonize the nation's econom- These policies include penalties for ic and environmental goals.

exceeding pollution limits and fees for the use of natural resources.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

effectiveness of environmental protection. For example, using a marketbased approach, the government specifies an environmental goal but grants polluters more flexibility in meeting that goal by using whatever methods are most cost-effective for them. Federal agencies are applying market-based incentives to a range of issues, from reducing air pollution to managing fishery resources.

Source: See Part II, Table 11.
Shifting Emphasis

Early federal policies to protect the environment generally relied on a command-and-control approach that typically specified an environmental goal, a method to achieve that goal, a deadline, and penalties for failure to comply. While these and other approaches have produced appreciable results, pollution control costs continue to increase. Under existing and planned regulations, EPA estimates that pollution control costs will increase by nearly 50 percent between 1991 and the year 2000 (from $107 billion to $148 billion in 1986 dollars, annualized at 7 percent). Environmental policymakers must address these costs as well as more complex problems such as pollution from dispersed sources (nonpoint sources) or from hazardous waste disposal—problems that are difficult or impossible to resolve with traditional approaches.

The federal government has begun to consider and apply market-based incentives and olher economic tools to help reduce the cost and improve the

New Developments

U.S. policies are constantly adjusting to both domestic and international developments. A sampling follows of developments likely to shape U.S. environmental policies in the years to come.

Budget Deficit. During the last decade, the United States was a consumer nation rather than an investor nation. Large public debts accumulated during this period, and interest payments on the national debt increased correspondingly. Because financing a growing national debt threatens to affect the U.S. standard of living, the nation is

« PreviousContinue »