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Superfund Reauthorization 1994: DoD's Opportunity to Clean Up Its Hazardous Waste Act
JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL'S SCHOOL CHARLOTTESVILE VA
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The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act CERCLA of 1980 was enacted to address the serious problem of hazardous waste contamination in the United States. Although the program has achieved some success, it has failed to achieve its primary purpose - the permanent cleanup of inactive and abandoned hazardous waste sites. With the taxing authority of CERCLA set to expire on September 30, 1994, Congress has an opportunity to address the programs failures and flaws. As this nations largest polluter, the Department of Defense has a substantial interest in the progress and outcome of these reauthorization proceedings. This thesis examines three of the major issues facing the military in its attempts to clean up its hazardous waste legacy - consistency in remedy selection and risk assessment, defining the appropriate state role at military hazardous waste sites, and resolving land transfer issues under CERCLA section 120h. This thesis identifies shortcomings in these areas and suggests specific amendments to the Superfund program. It concludes that these changes are necessary in order to establish clear and consistent rules governing the cleanup of hazardous waste by the military in the coming decades.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE