Environmental Problems at U.S. Overseas Military Activities (Unclassified Digest of a Classified Report)

CED-78-175: Published: Oct 16, 1978. Publicly Released: Oct 16, 1978.

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There has been growing concern about pollution among host countries at installations occupied by U.S. forces in Europe. Legislation states that U.S. activities should cooperate with host nations to solve environmental problems where consistent with U.S. policy, but troop-stationing agreements do not specifically discuss U.S. and host-nation responsibilities on pollution abatement.

Although a complete inventory of pollution problems has not been developed, military officials believe that $500 million might be needed to correct deficiencies at U.S. Army installations alone. Because there is no clear guidance on responsibilities, the services in Europe have managed pollution abatement programs on a piecemeal basis. Current Department of Defense (DOD) policy states that U.S. funds can be used for environmental improvement only if DOD originally provided the facility in question. Host nations are responsible for improving their own facilities. This policy could limit U.S. consideration of environmental improvements at its European facilities to about 20 percent of the problems identified.

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