Report on Incinerators and Burn Pits in U.S. Military Operations in Afghanistan.

CLICK HERE FOR REPORT:  SIGAR 15-33-AL Incinerators Assessment

incinerator

The above link is the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) report on incinerators and burn pits in U.S. military operations.

Special thanks to Anthony Hardie of Veterans for Common Sense  (veteransforcommonsense.org )

Among the concluding assessments with significant health, policy, regulatory, and oversight implications:

“Even more importantly, the potentially harmful effects from the emissions associated with open-air burn pits were known long before contingency operations began in Afghanistan. Congress took an important step in 2009 to define circumstances when burn pits could be used and what materials could be disposed in them. DOD acted on Congress’ initiative by promulgating regulations detailing rules and responsibilities for the disposal of solid waste. However, DOD’s failure to follow its own regulations have, in our view, potentially placed U.S. and coalition forces, Afghan National Security Forces, and Afghan and other countries’ civilians at unnecessary risk. Because DOD was not prepared for effective solid waste management when contingency operations in Afghanistan began, burn pits provided an easy answer to its solid waste disposal needs. Nevertheless, this does not excuse DOD of its continued use of open-air burn pits after the construction of incinerators.

Lastly, it is disturbing that our inspections of DOD incinerator facilities showed that (1) prohibited items continued to be disposed of in open-air burn pits even after Congress passed legislation to restrict that practice; (2) DOD paid the full contract amount for incinerators that were never used because they contained deficiencies that were not corrected, and the added cost to correct them was too high to be cost-effective; and (3) U.S. military personnel and others were exposed to the emissions from open-air burn pits that could have lasting negative health consequences. All of these situations point to the need for DOD to pay far greater attention to its solid waste management needs before the next contingency.”   (p. 12)

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