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The Local Environment at the U.S. Department of Defense

December 2013

Citation: 43 ELR 11057

Issue: 12

Author: John C. Cruden, Alex A. Beehler, John Conger, Ned Farquhar, James G. Van Ness

The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) manages several hundred thousand buildings at over 5,000 sites, using over 30 million acres of land. As stewards of natural resources, DOD is faced with structural and environmental management tasks of monumental proportions. These tasks do not exist in a vacuum and are often integrally related to the surrounding built and natural environments. The integration of military installations and the local environment involves questions of transportation, land buffers for sound protection, munitions testing, and more—all of which have environmental implications for air and water quality, wetlands and species protection, and land remediation. Ocean and air transportation raise special concerns at a time when DOD is promoting the use of alternative energy sources and energy conservation. On July 18, 2013, ELI convened a panel of experts to explain more about the specific challenges DOD faces and how they are addressing them through initiatives, policy, and action.

John C. Cruden is President of the Environmental Law Institute. Alex A. Beehler is Senior Advisor at FaegreBD Consulting and former Acting Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Installations & Environment), U.S. Department of Defense. John Conger is Acting Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Installations & Environment), U.S. Department of Defense. Ned Farquhar is Deputy Assistant Secretary for Land & Minerals Management, U.S. Department of the Interior. James G. Van Ness is Acting Deputy General Counsel (Installations & Environment), Office of General Counsel, U.S. Department of Defense.

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