Department of Defense Air Pollution Control:

Progress and Delays

LCD-77-305: Published: Jul 18, 1977. Publicly Released: Jul 18, 1977.


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Pollution from stationary sources at some Department of Defense (DOD) installations will continue to pollute the nation's air for several years. Federal agencies had until July 1, 1975, in most areas of the country, to comply with federal air pollution standards.

While some steps have been taken to control air pollution, DOD needs to do much more to comply with emission control standards. DOD and its military services did not know, as of July 1, 1975, if their installations were complying with air pollution standards. More DOD installations could have been in compliance by the deadline if the services had evaluated the status of their installations sooner. The controllable causes of delayed compliance by the military services were long delays in deciding how to control emissions and lengthy project design phases. The uncontrollable causes were the energy crisis, the lack of technology, and the unforeseen construction delays. Several state and local officials were uncertain whether they should be involved in consent agreements and whether they could enforce compliance commitments under such agreements. The Army and Air Force do not have a procedure to guarantee that environmental protection recommendations are carried out.

Status Legend:

More Info
  • Review Pending-GAO has not yet assessed implementation status.
  • Open-Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-implemented-Actions that satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-not implemented-While the intent of the recommendation has not been satisfied, time or circumstances have rendered the recommendation invalid.
    • Review Pending
    • Open
    • Closed - implemented
    • Closed - not implemented

    Recommendation for Executive Action

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should require the Army, Navy, and Air Force to: (1) evaluate current air pollution emission surveys to isolate violations of stationary source standards; (2) develop the funding program needed to attain full compliance by the new deadline; (3) make a thorough inspection to identify sources not in compliance with new standards and take the necessary corrective actions; and (4) establish procedures to isolate and monitor controllable causes which delayed control projects. The Army and Air Force should be required to adopt a system of scheduled surveys and establish procedures for monitoring installations' actions on survey team recommendations.

    Agency Affected:

    Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

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