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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 536-97
October 08, 1997

DEFENSE DEPARTMENT HOSTS PUBLIC FORUMS ON PROPOSED RANGE RULE

The Department of Defense is hosting a series of public forums on its proposed Range Rule. The first public forum is scheduled for Oct. 22 in Jacksonville, Fla. at the Radisson Riverwalk Hotel, followed by similar sessions Oct. 29 in Baltimore, Md. at the Best Western Hotel; Nov. 5 in Kansas City, Mo. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel; and Dec. 10 in Reno, Nev. at Lawlor Events Center in the University of Nevada.

The Department is seeking to issue a rule that will give the military services a consistent way to manage public safety and environmental efforts at former military ranges.

Each public forum will begin at 3 p.m., local time. The public will be able to visit exhibit areas and meet with members of the Defense Department's Range Rule team. At 7:30 p.m., the responsible military officials will welcome the public and explain DoD's Range Rule initiative. A question and answer period will follow. Public comments taken throughout the day will be made part of the public record.

"Years of day-to-day experience in managing environmental programs have taught us many valuable lessons. One of the most important lessons is that public involvement is key to our overall success," said Sherri W. Goodman, deputy under secretary of Defense for Environmental Security.

The public forums will also provide an opportunity to review and comment on the scope of a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) to be prepared in conjunction with the rule's final development. The PEIS will examine the potential environmental impacts of other alternatives and serve as an informational tool to help decision makers assess the Range Rule.

Written comments on the rule will be accepted via e-mail (ASCII files or Microsoft Word files only) or fax. The public may obtain information about or copies of the rule by phoning the Range Rule Information Center 1-888-541-1081 or 1-800-870-6557 for the hearing impaired. There is also a toll-free fax number, 1-800-870-6547, and an electronic mail address, fbarrule@b-r.com. The mailing address is Department of Defense Range Rule, Post Office Box 4136, Gaithersburg, MD 20885-4137. The public can access the proposed rule and related information via a site on the Internet's World-Wide Web at http://www.acq.osd.mil/ens/ and clicking on the link words "Munitions Range Rule."

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