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The Readiness and Range Preservation Initiative. Prof. R. Wilson ES 333: Environmental Policy Dominique Shaw. Military Environmental Policy. Foreign Environmental Policy - Wartime strategies/Impacts *usually examined in context of A single conflict

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the readiness and range preservation initiative

The Readiness and Range Preservation Initiative

Prof. R. Wilson

ES 333: Environmental Policy

Dominique Shaw

military environmental policy
Military Environmental Policy
  • Foreign Environmental


- Wartime strategies/Impacts

*usually examined in context

of A single conflict

(Vietnam, Gulf War, etc..)

- Building installations overseas

  • Domestic Environmental


-Ideal Goal: Balance security and

Environmental Concerns

- governed by same environmental laws that

apply to other federal agencies

-For past 3yrs dod has aggressively been

seeking exemption from these laws through

submitting a series of provisions to congress

military land use
Military Land USe
  • Over 30 million acres in the U.S. are controlled by the military (Department of Defense)

-army installations cover 12 million of the 30 million acres

-of those 12 million acres 90% are used for training and weapons testing

  • 20% of the nation’s endangered plants and animal species inhabit these areas
  • Military also relies on public space like coastal waters and air for training
  • Military actions have immense

impact on the natural


readiness and range preservation initiative
Readiness and Range Preservation Initiative
  • ‘We are the best military in the world, bar none, and the reason for that is that we train more often, we train to higher standards, and most importantly we train under realistic combat conditions, and that includes and emphasizes live-fire training and the testing of our weapons systems.’

~ Under Secretary of Defense for Readiness

on behalf of the DoD

  • The RRPI package seeks to exempt the military from:

- national environmental policy act (Nepa)

- Endangered Species act (ESA)

- Migratory bird treaty act (MBTA)

- Marine Mammal protection act (mmpa)

- clean air act

- resource conservation and recovery act (RCra)

- superfund (cercla)

congress response to rrpi
Congress Response to RRPI
  • 2002 congress exempted military from the MBTA

- allows for the unintentional killing of migratory birds

- changes decades long policy of joining with neighboring nations to protect 850 species of migratory birds

      • 2003 exemptions from ESA

and MMPA

  • - esa exemption
  • passed a law authorizing the military to use
  • integrated natural resource management \
  • plans in place of more restrictive critical
  • habitat designations required by the esa
  • - MMPA Exemption
  • authorized due to national security
rrpi provisions currently in congress
RRPI Provisions currently in congress
  • Exemption from Clean Air Act

-would allow new units that

are moved into an installation more

time before they are required to

comply with Clean Air Act State

Implementation Plan

  • Exemptions from RCRA and CERCLA

- would ease overall regulations on munitions and clean


opposition to rrpi
Opposition to rrpi
  • Variety of Environmental organizations

- nrdc has filed suit against

Department of defense

  • Major challenge to the opposition

- recommendations require a shift in military

view on its responsibility to the environment

benefits of military compliance
Benefits of Military Compliance
  • Adhering to the environmental laws the Dod is seeking exemption from would actually help to ensure that:

- realistic environment needed for training is maintained

- safety of military workers and their families

- save military from paying fines, penalties and engaging

in costly litigation

- would boost the military’s public image both

domestically and abroad

  • The passing of these provisions will indicate how the military is going to conduct domestic environmental policy in the future
  • As our major source of national

security, the military should be set

an example of environmental


  • The implementation of these provisions would place the military above the law and send negative messages both domestically and overseas
  • Severe degradation to environment