• DOD Outlines Process for LRAs to Request Protection under Environmental Statute

    DOD Outlines Process for LRAs to Request Protection under Environmental Statute0

    The Defense Department has proposed a rule outlining the process for local redevelopment authorities (LRAs), owners and others in control of BRAC sites to request legal representation from DOD according to a federal statute intended to protect them from liability for undiscovered contamination. The proposed rule, published in the Dec. 7 Federal Register, stems from Section 330 of the 1993 defense authorization act, which indemnifies owners of former military base property from lawsuits, judgements and other actions arising out of claims for personal injury or property damage. To date, the statute primarily has been relied on by LRAs and their insurers to recover damages from the military after they encounter previously unknown contamination …

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  • Compromise Defense Policy Bill Would Boost Force Levels

    Compromise Defense Policy Bill Would Boost Force Levels0

    The House and Senate Armed Services committees have settled on a compromise fiscal 2017 defense authorization bill that would halt planned cuts in the end strength of the Army, Air Force and Marines in the coming year, while jettisoning several provisions that were likely to draw a presidential veto. The conference report likely will be filed today. The House is expected to vote on the agreement Friday, and the Senate is expected to take it up next week, reported Military Times. Perhaps the most far-reaching impact of the legislation for defense communities is its rejection of the Pentagon’s plans to reduce the size of the Army and Marine Corps …

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  • House Leadership’s Support for Sage Grouse Provision Frustrates Policy Bill Negotiations

    House Leadership’s Support for Sage Grouse Provision Frustrates Policy Bill Negotiations0

    The greater sage grouse, a black and brown grassland bird whose habitat encompasses parts of 11 western states, has taken on an oversized role in House-Senate negotiations over a conference agreement for the fiscal 2017 defense authorization bill. The House’s Republican leadership is insisting the compromise bill retain language from the House version barring the sage grouse from being placed on the endangered species list through 2025 even though the issue is only loosely connected to the use of military training grounds. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has said he would not allow the final version of the annual defense policy to be considered on the chamber floor without that provision, in a bid to protect energy, mining and ranching interests, reports Defense News …

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  • Defense Bill Talks Derailed over Sage Grouse Provision

    Defense Bill Talks Derailed over Sage Grouse Provision0

    Even while House and Senate negotiators hashing out a compromise version of the fiscal 2017 defense authorization bill have resolved many of the most contentious issues, the talks ground to a halt Wednesday night over a House provision barring the greater sage grouse from being protected under the Endangered Species Act.
    Following the break down, leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services committees indicated further discussions will not take place until lawmakers return to Capitol Hill for a lame duck session after the November elections. That would leave Congress little time to respond to an expected presidential veto, putting in jeopardy the Armed Services committees’ 54-year streak of getting the bill enacted annually …

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