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US army pays $5.4m for inoperable incinerators

US army pays $5.4m for inoperable incinerators

Dec 17, 2013 - 12:48

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): The US military in Afghanistaninfo-icon paid $5.4 million for waste incinerators that were never operated because of deficiencies, a federal watchdog said on Monday.

Subsequently, American soldiers and other personnel at Forward Operating Base Sharan in southeastern Paktika province had to use hazardous open-air burn pits to dispose of waste.

The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) paid a contractor for two facilities that were 30 months behind schedule and were marred by construction deficiencies, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstructioninfo-icon (SIGAR) said.

A new report from the watchdog said that a safety inspection after the incinerators' installation had found a number of electrical insufficiencies that would cost about id="mce_marker" million to repair.

As a result, base officials chose to abandon the incinerators and continue using open-air pits, a practice fraught with healthinfo-icon hazards. SIGAR said it had voiced concerns about instances where USACE had failed to hold contractors accountable for not accomplishing work they were failed to perform.

Despite the problems, SIGAR said, the military paid the International Home Finance & Development LLC, a Denver-based contractor, in full and installed the facilities without testing them.

The report said: "If the incinerator facility had been put into operation in August 2010, as planned, FOB Sharan would have been able to close its open-air burn pit."

It added base personnel faced continued exposure to potentially hazardous emissions, and $5.4 million of US taxpayer dollars could have been put to better use.

PAN Monitor/mud


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