ing and maintenance. Many systems, aircraft in particular, often remain in the inventory for 30 years or more. During that time, maintenance and refurbishment performed at Air Force industrial plants use large quantities of hazardous materials and generate large quantifies of waste. The material and process selections made during system development dictate maintenance and operations procedures and define the environmental impact for the entire 30 years of ownership. These material decisions are made by program offices responsible for delivering new systems that meet performance criteria, on time, and within budget. DOD Instruction 5000.2, which prescribes acquisition procedures, includes a requirement to include hazardous material considerations in acquisition activities. As with the Hazardous Materials Pollution Prevention Directive, it is not specific about how to accomplish the task.


On November 13, 1992, the chief of staff of the Air Force, General Merrill A. McPeak, and the secretary of the Air Force, Donald B. Rice, jointly signed a memorandum to the commanders of all major commands, all assistant secretaries, and all deputy chiefs of staff proposing a comprehensive Pollution Prevention Action Plan. The memorandum asked for endorsement of specific goals and objectives, recommendations to improve the proposed program, and an estimate of the resources needed to achieve the goals. The Pollution Prevention Division used these endorsements and resource requirements to establish an investment strategy and to convince the Secretary of the Air Force that the projected economic and environmental benefits warranted the investment. On January 7, 1993, the chief of staff and the secretary of the Air Force signed a memorandum formally establishing the program. In the memorandum, they stated, "The Air Force is committed to preventing future pollution by reducing use of hazardous materials and releases of pollutants into the environment to as near zero as feasible. We must mobilize our whole team and find ways to move faster."


There are six objectives to the Pollution Prevention Action Plan. The first is to reduce the use of hazardous materials in all phases of new weapons systems from concept through production, deployment, and ultimate disposal. It includes subobjectives describing specific actions and milestones that lead to institutionalizing pollution prevention in the systems development and acquisition process. The assistant secretary for acquisition is responsible for achieving this objective and has authority to make the necessary changes in acquisition policy and procedures.

The second Objective is to "reduce the use of hazardous materials in existing

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