Waste Management: DOD Needs to Fully Assess the Health Risks of Burn Pits, Statement for the Record by Cary Russell, Director, Defense Capabilities and Management, Statement for the Record to the Subcommittee on Health, Committee on Veterans' Affairs, House of Representatives   [open pdf - 187KB]

"Burn pits help base commanders manage waste generated by U.S. forces overseas, but they also produce harmful emissions that military and other health professional s believe may result in chronic health effects for those exposed. This statement provides information on the extent to which DOD has assessed any health risks of burn pit use. This statement is based on a GAO [Government Accountability Office] report issued in September 2016 (GAO-16-781). The report was conducted in response to section 313 of the Carl Levin and Howard P. 'Buck' McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015. Specifically, GAO assessed the methodology DOD used in conducting a review of the compliance of the military departments and combatant commands with DOD instructions governing the use of burn pits in contingency operations and the adequacy of a DOD report for the defense committees . GAO also obtained updates from DOD on actions taken to assess health risks from burn pits since September 2016. [...] GAO made two recommendations focused on improving monitoring of burn pit emissions and examining any associated health effects related to burn pit exposure. DOD concurred with one recommendation and partially concurred with the other. GAO continues to believe the recommendations are valid."

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Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/
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