Read this today. Anyone with insight?
Read this today. Anyone with insight?
Saw the same thing this morning. I have an e-mail in to our DNR Forestry rep. asking her to confirm the details.
If we can't get things from DOD/FEPP anymore we are in serious trouble. One FD in our county has obtained their entire fleet from DOD, we have three trucks, all of our SCBA's, and Breathing Air Compressor from them. Most other departments in our area have at least one piece of apparatus that is DOD.
When it come to things like this the EPA needs to just stay out of it and let us have what we need to do our jobs.
Well I don't know about the rest of you but I just penned a 1 page email rant to my Congressman over this; you should consider doing the same.
Here is a listing to find ALL your Congressman,Senators and the White House through email.
It only takes a couple of minutes to compose an email, list the link to the news article and protest this vehemently. I mean does the EPA propose to eliminate all of the other military trucks operating on our domestic military bases or National Guard Armories. This is asinine folks and we need to rise up as a group and protest the hell out of this or we will lose this. I know departments in Texas that more than 75% of their entire apparatus fleet is made up of FEPP vehicles. I say NO, in fact I say HELL NO!!
Please join me and help!:mad:
I received an email from our DNR Forestry Rep. this morning. It contained two documents, a form letter and "talking points", I would assume anyone could contact their state forestry to get the documents if you don't get them automatically. I tried to upload them, but they are to large. We all need to get in touch with our legislators and get this reversed. A lot of FD's are going to be in trouble without this program, mine included.
"We're so glad we scrapped that tanker because it put out too much exhaust. Because of that we were able to enjoy the trees for a couple of months before the wildfire burned them down because we had no tanker to help put it out...."
Sometimes I just wonder what color the sky is in some of these people's worlds where common sense doesn't exist....
I thought we had OFIRE Care now!!
Our city had to sell some city sedans out of state because did not meet state standards
write your congress critters and tell them: We'll give up our stinky trucks when you give up flying all over the country and world taking kickbacks from folks who want to own you.
In today's "Government's Logic Is Bass-Ackwards Report", let's bear in mind that the number of miles driven by these purportedly nasty vehicles is so small as to make their environmental impact minuscule compared to that of hauling them somewhere, destroying them, and building more.
Our folks at the NVFC are on top of this. They sent out a notice that Sen. McCain has drafted a letter to the Secretary of Defense to seek a resolution on this. He needs other senators to sign on by July 9th.
To find your senators:
Ask him or her (well, them) to sign on with Sen. McCain's letter. R or D, let them know that you expect this from them and that it's critical to the nation's volunteer firefighters.
From the NVFC, some more information:
Tell the Federal Government To Reinstate FEPP and FPP Equipment Transfers
Two programs that allow local fire departments to obtain excess U.S. Department of Defense equipment to help them fight wildland fire have been shut down abruptly and without warning. Through the Federal Excess Personal Property (FEPP) and Firefighter Property Program (FPP), fire departments obtained, on average, more than $150 million-worth of decommissioned DoD apparatus and equipment annually between 2008 and 2012. Most of this equipment went to rural volunteer fire departments, which typically lack financial resources and yet provide 80 percent of the initial attack on wildland fires in the U.S.
The FEPP and FPP have been suspended apparently because the used equipment do not meet federal emissions standards. Senator John McCain is circulating a letter in the U.S. Senate to the Secretary of Defense asking for an explanation as to why the decision was made to halt equipment transfers and to provide a specific course of action to correct the situation as quickly as possible. The deadline for signing onto the letter is Wednesday, July 9. Contact your U.S. Senators TODAY and tell them to sign onto the letter.
Here is a link right from NVFC to send the letter that EastKyFF posted above direct to your senators. We need to flood their e-mails and make sure they do something about this.
Here is a question I have, is there any chance they would recall the vehicles already issued since they still legally own them?
My thoughts exactly! They will never get us to give up the stuff we are currently using.Quote:
Not if we change the #%&*ing locks!
We have to own one of our trucks for two more years and one for three more years and we get the title to them anyway. We already hold the title to one of them so we do technically own that one. I would think that the first thing they will try is to get back the stuff that has to be de-militarized. There is enough stink being raised about this though that it probably won't even get that far.
[QUOTE=FF715MRFD;1413854]Here is a link right from NVFC to send the letter that EastKyFF posted above direct to your senators. We need to flood their e-mails and make sure they do something about this.
Done. Hopefully my guys staffers pays attention to it.
So I went looking for the release from the EPA or DoD that indicated this change was in the works (if the government is good at one thing it's generating paperwork.) Interestingly, I couldn't find any direct source (DoD/EPA MOA, EPA Rule Notice, etc.) that the OP article could be based on. All links to articles I found are out of Oklahoma news outlets... and I found this, a piece by David Perryman, who serves in the Oklahoma House of Representatives:
What is unusual in the current situation is that no one can point to the source of the information that such a decision is even being considered. According to the Journal Record article, an EPA spokeswoman said, “the EPA has just been made aware of the issue and is looking into it with our contacts at DOD.”Emphasis added.
Likewise, according to a story appearing in several state newspapers by CNHI News Service, a spokeswoman for the Defense Department Surplus property program said that she was “unaware of any changes.”
Curiously, while the story has “spread like wildfire” in Oklahoma since the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture press release was issued on July 2, there is absolutely no comment or concern from any other citizens, departments or agencies in any state except Oklahoma. Consequently, I have made an Open Records Request to determine what information Oklahoma officials have received from either the EPA or the Department of Defense that would substantiate the press release.
One reason for my concern is the fact that just two years ago, in 2012, the EPA issued a Regulatory Announcement [EPA-420-F-12-025] that removed emission restrictions from Fire Trucks and Ambulances using diesel. It would not be consistent for the EPA to exempt diesel powered fire trucks from emission standards and impose emission standards on gasoline-powered vehicles. Likewise, it would seem unlikely that the Department of Defense would take such a course of action.
In any event, if a federal agency is refusing to allow Oklahoma fire departments to receive surplus vehicles it is imperative that we activate citizens to express our concern and demand that the program continue.
However, if neither the Department of Defense nor the EPA is attempting to prevent the vehicles from being distributed to our fire departments, then it would appear that the matter is a non-issue and the other 49 states are correct in their non-concern.
While I can't comment on the motivation behind the Oklahoma Forestry Services press release it would seem that any concern is a bit unfounded right now.
Here is something I found on the subject today. It appears that there may be something to this after all.
I would encourage everyone who is inclined to contact their State and Federal Representatives to express support for the program (I think we all agree it's a good thing for Fire Departments that participate) or express concern over the reports of its alteration do so. And now that it has been brought to the attention of the United States Senate I'm sure that an official statement will be made available.
I remain skeptical only because the supporting information seems lacking and in the place of verifiable facts there is an element of political vitriol. I won't quote any of the comments here but they are easy enough to find and irrelevant to the matter at hand.
In my own research I have so far not been able to locate:
The oft mentioned agreement between DoD and the EPA from 25 years ago. Neither the agreement's title nor any quoted content. Without a doubt it exists but without the specific document it becomes hard to refute the claims made or identify any other remediation of the agreement in favor of Fire Departments that may have been made in the last 25 years.
An "Official" statement from any Federal agency. Not DoD, EPA, NFS, TACOM, USDA, et al. Statements surrounding the cessation of the program often mention "emails" from various agencies. Statements stating the program will continue are typically "quotes" from spokesmen. Neither, for me personally, carries the weight of a press release. The purported alteration of this program affects all 50 States. It seems unlikely that the only notification of this radical and far reaching change was in an email. This is the heart of what Sen. Moran asks for in his address... confirmation.
I'll reinforce what I said at the opening. By all means, reach out to your elected officials and let them know the value of this program.
Just emailed my FEPP rep this morning and from his reply, it appears that Governors, Senators, & Congressmen are getting involved. He also said that it will not involve any of the current equipment out there.
Email that I received from Texas Facilities Commission this afternoon:
Federal Surplus Program participants,
I want to make this short and to the point. Some of you may already be aware of some issues relating to the availability of diesel trucks thru the Federal Surplus program. I want to share with you all we know so far, the steps we have taken, and steps we plan to take to resolve this issue.
Three weeks ago we were informed via the General Services Administration (GSA) that the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) was not releasing vehicles with noncompliant engines outside the Department of Defense (DoD). The change in policy is based on an agreement Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command (LCMC, formerly the U. S. Tank and Automotive Command) has with the U. S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that tactical vehicles can be manufactured under national security exemptions. Such exemptions are authorized in Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), part 85.1708 and enable the manufacture and use of engines that do not meet emissions standards under the Clean Air Act. While some of these agreements may be as much as 20-25 years old, we have been told some have been renewed as recently as the spring of 2014. As we have learned, these exemptions prohibit distribution of the noncompliant engines outside the Department of Defense (DoD). I am going to simplify this a little, but basically under the EPA agreement, [B]DoD will have to destroy all vehicles produced under the exemption if they are no longer used by DoD.[/B]
Since the issue first emerged, DLA has expanded the prohibition to pretty much everything with an engine.
We have had discussions with GSA and DLA staff. We have argued with DLA that:
-this change in policy will have a devastating effect on small cities and counties that rely on surplus equipment to provide services.
-we have also argued with DLA, that even though all DOD vehicles are exempt from EPA standards, the majority of those vehicles are already certified by the manufactures as meeting EPA standards.
As the State of Texas, we have sent a letter to the head of DLA expressing our concern about the impact this prohibition will have on our donees. We have also asked the GSA administrator to work with us in resolving this issue. DLA has told us so far that they will not destroy any vehicles until the issue is resolved. As details are emerging, we continue to work with other States in an effort to reverse this policy. As a next step, we will be contacting our members of Congress requesting their assistance in resolving this issue.
I want to assure you that we will do everything in our power to fight this decision by DLA on behalf of our donees. I will keep you posted of any developments. As always, feel free to contact me or Kristy Fierro (512) 463-3458 if you have any questions.
Federal and State Surplus Property
Texas Facilities Commission
Direct: (512) 463-9709
Cell: (512) 619-9600
Fax: (512) 236-6173
These are the messages that have been forwarded on to my Department by our DNR Forestry Rep.
When I contacted my legislators I contacted everyone, even at the state level. I have heard back from both my State Representative and State Senator. I got pretty much the same response from both of them (which wasn't totally unexpected), they both said that because it was a Federal issue that there wasn't much they could do, but that they would throw their support behind anything at the State level if it came up. I haven't gotten any type of response yet from my Congressional legislators and I have not heard any more news on what they are doing, if anything, to help fix this. We all just need to keep putting the pressure on them until this gets resolved!Quote:
TO: State Foresters
FROM: Brent Keith
RE: FEPP & FPP vehicles
We have heard concern from many states after folks received word that the Department
of Defense (DoD) has stopped any further transfer of trucks under the Federal
Excess Personal Property (FEPP) program and the Firefighter Property program (FPP).
We understand this action stems from an agreement with the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) under which the DoD agreed not to transfer, reutilize or
donate older vehicles that may not meet current EPA emission standards.
Please know that we are working with the NASF Fire Committee and the USDA Forest
Service to gather more information and to get this issue resolved as quickly as
possible. We know how important this program is to states for the essential initial
attack capacity that it supports.
We will provide additional updates as we get more information and pull together
National Association of State Foresters
TO: State Foresters
FROM: Brent Keith
RE: NASF talking points on FEPP & FPP transfer issue
Please find NASF talking points attached to this message concerning the recent
Department of Defense (DoD) decision to stop transfers of certain federal excess
property. We are still working to gather more information on the underlying
agreement between DoD and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that we
understand was the reason behind DoD’s decision to halt transfers. NASF has been
in touch with a member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee who is helping
make the appropriate inquiries to DoD to better understand the issue and how we can
most effectively influence decision makers to resume transfers as quickly as
I know that many state foresters are already talking with governors and
congressional delegations about this issue and we encourage others to do the same.
Hopefully the talking points will be useful in those conversations. We will share
more information as it becomes available.
National Association of State Foresters
To: State Foresters
FROM: Brent Keith
RE: FEPP & FPP Action Alert – Senate support needed by Wed., July 9.
Your help is needed to demonstrate broad support for the federal excess property
programs through the attached draft letter to Secretary Hagel from members of the
U.S. Senate. If you are able, please reach out to your Senate offices and ask that
they support this effort to get answers around why transfers of essential fire
equipment have stopped and how we can fix this problem. I have attached the NASF
talking points to this message for your use in discussing the issue with members
offices … please feel free to share widely.
Please direct offices who are interested in adding their support to the letter to
(firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:nick_matie email@example.com>) in Senator
McCain’s office no later than COB next Wednesday, July 9.
The issue has already appeared in at least one news outlet -
- and we have talked to several additional reporters about the issue.
Please get in touch with any questions. Thanks for your help.
National Association of State Foresters
From: "Tauke, Paul [DNR]"
Date:07/03/2014 2:14 PM (GMT-06:00)
To: "Boes, Eldon (Harkin) (Eldon_Boes@harkin.senate.gov)"
Cc: Brent Keith ,"Kantak, Gail [DNR]"
Subject: FW: NASF Action Alert - federal excess property outreach needed
Eldon & Sherri: Please take a look at the attached documents regarding the decision
by the Department of Defense to no longer supply excess military equipment to
volunteer fire departments through the USDA Forest Service Volunteer Fire Assistance
program because the vehicles do not meet current EPA emission standards.
Over three hundred Iowa communities have received equipment valued at over $16
million dollars through the FEPP Program alone. If this situation is not corrected
the negative impact on rural fire departments and small communities will be
significant. It will weaken the ability of communities to respond to fire
situations and will have negative consequences for the safety of Iowa citizens.
I hope Senator Harkin & Senator Grassley will work together to insure that the
safety of Iowans and of Iowa’s volunteer firefighters is not further compromised
by this short-sighted and foolish policy decision.
Please let me know if you have questions and what action the Senators intend to take
on this issue. Thanks for your time.
PAUL J. TAUKE State Forester/Bureau Chief
Just figured I would share the email I got this morning from our state division of wildland fire.
From: Burk, Jim
Sent: Wednesday, July 09, 2014 9:49 PM
To: Marks, Glenda
Subject: Federal Excess Property
Glenda, please forward to your list. Thanks
Twenty-five years ago there was an agreement made between the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that DLA would not make excess equipment available to other agencies to use because it did not meet emission standards. Instead the equipment was to be destroyed. Until last week, this was never enforced. Upon receiving notification stating they had started enforcing the agreement, the Wildland Fire Division and many other states’ fire and law enforcement agencies gathered facts to send to the respective Governor’s office who then advanced our concerns to our federal representatives.
This week the story was released by some of the fire magazines and we started to receive emails and phone calls from departments in South Dakota who currently have federal property on loan to them through our office. There was some confusion as some departments were worried that it affected the equipment they currently have on loan to them. This was never the case. It only affected the equipment which was currently being excessed by DLA.
The group effort put forth by the states upon realizing the impact to small rural fire departments and law enforcement agencies, made our voices heard in Washington and they listened. We were notified today that the rule has been rescinded and the flow of property will start again.
SD Wildland Fire Division