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News Release


IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 079-98
February 23, 1998

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE CALLS FOR PUBLIC COMMENT ON SHIP SCRAPPING PROGRAMS

The Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Environmental Security is leading an interagency panel to review the Department of Navy and U.S. Maritime Administration programs to scrap vessels. Scrapping vessels presents many challenges due to the complexity of ships, and the environmental and safety issues associated with scrapping them. The goal of the panel is to ensure that vessels are scrapped in a cost-effective and commercially feasible manner that is fully protective of worker health and safety as well as the environment.

The Panel will evaluate the adequacy of the process and, as necessary, make recommendations for improvement. It will review the process and procedures in place and in development for scrapping ships, from preparing ships for scrapping through final closure of contracting actions. The panel of senior environment, safety and occupational health experts will present the results of their review to the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology on March 31, 1998.

Members of the public can provide comments via an electronic web site, by mail, by fax or at a public meeting to be held March 5, in Washington, D.C. The web site also provides information about the panel.

Public comments can be submitted and viewed at www.denix.osd.mil. Comments may also be submitted by mail or FAX to the panel chair.

Ms. Patricia A. Rivers
ODUSD(ES)/CL
3400 Defense Pentagon
Washington, D.C. 20301-3400

FAX: (703) 697-7413

The panel will host a public meeting to receive input from interested parties from 1 to 4 p.m. (EST), Thursday, March 5, 1998, at the Sheraton City Centre, 1143 New Hampshire Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. Panel members will not provide individual responses to written or spoken comments, but will gather the information provided and consider it in their deliberations while developing the report.

Those who would like to attend this meeting are urged to pre-register by March 2, 1998, by contacting Francine Pivinski at SciComm, Inc. (301) 652-1900. Walk-in participants who wish to make statements will be provided an opportunity as time permits.

A series of questions will be posted on the web site to help guide feedback to the panel. All comments are welcome, but the panel will be particularly interested in hearing from the public in these areas.