Agencies Agree to Continue to Provide Fire Departments with Equipment

Two U.S. federal agencies have agreed on a new deal this week that will continue to provide local fire departments with surplus military vehicles.

Officials with the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Defense agreed on the deal after hearing from various Oklahoma leaders about the negative effects of the original proposal. Now, fire departments will have to return military equipment once they are no longer in use.

"The pressure put on the EPA and Department of Defense by Senator Inhofe and other Oklahoma officials has resulted in an exemption being created for fire departments and law enforcement agencies so that the public safety of our communities is given priority over a policy that was intended to reduce emissions," Oklahoma Representative Mike Sanders stated.

Previous reports from KTUL state that the original proposal aimed to cut carbon emissions by no longer giving surplus military vehicles and equipment to rural fire departments across the country. Oklahoma forestry officials stated there are currently more than 8,800 vehicles and pieces of equipment obtained through the program being utilized by rural fire departments in Oklahoma.

Officials added that greenhouse gas emissions from such vehicles "are marginal at best compared to emissions of an uncontrolled wildfire."

"Our volunteer rural fire departments will now have the tools they need to protect lives and property in our communities. I am grateful to those fine public servants for their service," Sanders added.