DOD's New Environmental Security Strategy Faces Barriers Gao ID: NSIAD-94-142 September 30, 1994

According to Defense Department (DOD) officials, the United States today confronts a wide range of threats to environmental security, including ozone depletion, environmental terrorism, risks to public health and the environment from military activities, and a variety of contaminants at DOD installations. DOD's revised strategy for protecting the environment calls for creating environmental partnerships, matching environmental and economic opportunities, expediting cleanup at all DOD sites, preventing pollution rather than controlling pollution, and targeting technology to meet U.S. environmental needs. This report provides information on the new strategy and the changes made to DOD's organization structure for environmental management. GAO also reviews portions of the administrative operations and controls over funding of the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Environment).

GAO found that: (1) the revised DOD strategy for protecting the environment focuses on cleanup, compliance, conservation, pollution prevention, and technology; (2) in order to successfully implement its new environmental strategy, DOD will need to improve its cooperation with other agencies, overcome constraints in implementing environmental regulations, and develop better environmental funding methods; (3) in May 1993, DOD created the Office of Environmental Security to focus on specific environmental issues, and implement its environmental strategy; (4) Congress has directed DOD to realign and justify the office's operating and administrative costs separately in future budget submissions, reduce and hold the operating and administrative budget to $366,000, and limit travel costs to $27,000; (5) future DOD environmental budgets will not be fully realigned because DOD has not separately budgeted or justified its environmental management activities; (6) the Office has agreed to reduce its budget request by $366,000 because the former environmental office supplied Congress with incorrect data on the office's total cost; (7) DOD travel costs are expected to exceed the report limit by $63,000; and (8) the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense has met with congressional staff and reached agreement on the funding limits.

The Justia Government Accountability Office site republishes public reports retrieved from the U.S. GAO These reports should not be considered official, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Justia.