WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) filed amendments to the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) aimed at improving on-base housing for military families and increasing military bases’ financial stake in saving taxpayer money. The amendments would address lead contamination concerns at Fort Polk.
One amendment will require testing of on-base housing for lead poisoning. A report will then be made to Congress on how to improve living facilities in contaminated base housing. Lead contamination is a concern in base housing across the country, including Fort Polk near Alexandria.
Another amendment will allow military bases to keep up to 25% of the savings they generate for partnering with local governments for services such as grounds maintenance, custodial services and solid waste management. Fort Polk saves the federal government $2 million a year by sharing waste management services with the Vernon Parish Police Jury.
“Our military bases are an important part of our local communities. The men and women of the military sacrifice their lives to ensure our continued freedom. They expect to encounter danger on the battlefield, not at home on a military base. Lead contamination has been found at military bases across this country, including Fort Polk. This is a serious problem that must be addressed,” said Sen. Kennedy. “At the same time, bases like Fort Polk are saving taxpayers money by partnering with local governments on necessary services. They should be able to keep a portion of those savings.”