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US wasted $20 million for incinerators: SIGAR

US wasted $20 million for incinerators: SIGAR

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Feb 13, 2015 - 11:03

WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): The United States wasted more than $20 million allocated for use and installation of incinerators in Afghanistaninfo-icon a federal oversight agency said Thursday ruing prohibited items—such as tires and batteries—continued to be disposed of in open-air burn pits even after Congress passed legislation to restrict that practice.

In a report "Final Assessment: What We Have Learned From Our Inspections of Incinerators and Use of Burn Pits in Afghanistan," Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstructioninfo-icon (SIGAR) said $20.1 million was wasted because four Department of Defense installations in Afghanistan never used their eight incinerators.

US spent $81.9 million on 23 incinerator systems for nine DOD installations in Afghanistan, the report said adding that in August 2010, CENTCOM reported that there were 251 active open-air burn pits in the country.

It is disturbing that SIGAR inspections showed that prohibited items—such as tires and batteries—continued to be disposed of in open-air burn pits even after Congress passed legislation to restrict that practice, the report said.

It also expressed concern that the Department of Defense paid the full contract amount for incinerators that were never used because they contained deficiencies that were not corrected.

It is disturbing that US military personnel and others were exposed to the emissions from open-air burn pits that could have lasting negative healthinfo-icon consequences, the report said.

SIGAR said the US Central Command (CENTCOM) did not develop a regulation addressing the use of open-air burn pits until 2009—about eight years after US contingency operations began in Afghanistan—despite the health risks associated with burn pits.

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