RL30111 - Defense Cleanup and Environmental Programs: Authorization and Appropriations for FY2000
13-Dec-1999; David Bearden; 8 p.
Abstract: Although Congress authorizes most federal programs for multiple years, it annually authorizes programs for national defense as well as appropriating funding for them each fiscal year. Of the activities traditionally authorized and funded, the Department of Defense (DOD) administers the following six environmental programs: environmental restoration, compliance, cleanup at base closure sites, pollution prevention, environmental technology, and natural resource conservation. In addition to DOD's activities, the Department of Energy (DOE) is responsible for managing defense nuclear waste and remediating contaminated sites. For FY2000, the Administration requested a total of $9.67 billion for the above programs, roughly $390 million less than the FY1999 funding level of $10.06 billion. The first session of the 106th Congress has completed consideration of legislation to authorize and appropriate funding in FY2000 for DOD and DOE's defense cleanup and environmental activities, and the President has signed each bill into law. The National Defense Authorization Act for FY2000 (P.L. 106-65) authorizes $1.30 billion for environmental restoration and authorizes another $5.72 billion for DOE's management of defense nuclear waste and remediation of contaminated sites. As in past years, it does not specify the total amounts authorized for compliance, pollution prevention, environmental technology, conservation, and cleanup at base closure sites. Rather, these programs receive funding under the Operation and Maintenance and Base Realignment and Closure Accounts respectively. The Department of Defense Appropriations Act for FY2000 (P.L. 106-79) provides $1.30 billion for environmental restoration, roughly $40 million more than the requested amount of $1.26 billion. As in past years, the law does not specify the total amounts appropriated for compliance, pollution prevention, environmental technology, and conservation, which receive funding under the Operation and Maintenance Accounts. The Military Construction Appropriations Act for FY2000 (P.L. 106-52) provides $346.4 million for cleanup at base closure sites, about $13.7 million less than the Administration's request of $360.1 million. The Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act for FY2000 (P.L. 106-60) allocates a total of $5.74 billion for DOE's management of defense nuclear waste and remediation of contaminated sites, about $60 million less than the Administration's request of nearly $5.80 billion. Additionally, the Consolidated Appropriations Act for FY2000 (P.L. 106-113) includes a government-wide rescission of 0.38%, which is to be applied proportionately to all defense accounts including DOE's defense activities. Other legislation also could affect environmental cleanup at military facilities. H.R. 1300 and H.R. 2580, as reported, and S. 1537, as introduced, would amend the remedy selection process at Superfund sites, which could lower DOD's cleanup costs. As introduced, H.R. 617 would clarify requirements for federal compliance with all hazardous waste cleanup laws. Another bill, S. 258, as introduced, would authorize new rounds of base closings in 2001 and 2003. The amount of funding that would be necessary to accelerate cleanup at additional base closure sites would depend on the type and extent of contamination present at such facilities. [read report]
Topics: Public Lands, Federal Agencies