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National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. YOUNG of Indiana. I thank the distinguished gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Chairman, I rise to commend the Armed Services Committee on their excellent work here, and I want to take this opportunity to highlight an issue addressed in last year's NDAA which required the Secretary of Defense to produce a report this fall that examines an issue of great importance.

During my prior service on the Armed Services Committee, I learned of a discrepancy in the law where military facilities closed outside of the BRAC process are not given the same indemnification against liabilities that are a result of hazardous substances left over from any previous DOD activities.

Several Army ammunition plants were closed outside of the BRAC process, and because DOD is not required to maintain responsibility for potential problems related to military use, we are hindering redevelopment of these properties.

Last year, I wrote a bill called the Base Redevelopment and Indemnification Correction Act, or the BRIC Act, that would extend the same BRAC protections to non-BRAC closed facilities. It was included in the House-passed NDAA but was removed during conference. However, language was adopted that requires a DOD assessment of the status of these former defense facilities as well as recommendations to facilitate their redevelopment. Local redevelopers should not be held responsible for any lingering issues that were a result of DOD operations.

I anticipate the Secretary's report on this matter will provide a path forward for these former military installations that remain disadvantaged without these important indemnification protections. I thank the chairman for his continued support to address this ongoing issue and look forward to working with the committee after the report is released to address this glaring anomaly.

I yield to the gentleman from California.

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