News Releases

WASHINGTON, DC – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) have reached an agreement to again allow states through the Law Enforcement Support Office (LESO) and Firefighter Programs to continue to receive equipment managed through these programs. The EPA recently halted the transfer of surplus military equipment to states and local governments that is used for firefighting and law enforcement. Yesterday, the Kansas Congressional Delegation sent a letter to EPA and the U.S. Army TACOM requesting they re-implement the use of military vehicles for rural fire departments. After the agreement from the EPA and DLA, the Kansas Congressional Delegation released the following statement:

“We are pleased the administration acted in a timely manner and has decided to continue this successful program of equipment transfers. These vehicles are an important lifeline and safety tool for our rural communities. Local fire departments across Kansas and the nation will once again be able to utilize excess equipment to save lives and protect their communities.”

Please note the letter (attached and below) from the KS Delegation to the EPA and U.S. Army TACOM: 

July 8, 2014

The Honorable Gina McCarthy
Environmental Protection Agency                                          
Office of the Administrator                                                
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20460 

Major General Gwen Bingham
6501 E. 11 Mile Rd.
Warren, MI 48397-5000

Dear Administrator McCarthy and MG Bingham,

We are writing to you regarding an issue of great importance to Kansas and the safety of many of its small, rural communities. For more than 40 years, the Kansas Fire Service has transferred military vehicles to fire departments for use in their operations. These military vehicles, which are disposed of and transferred through the Defense Logistics Agency, are utilized by many Kansas Fire Departments. Currently, the Kansas Fire Service has 442 vehicles, originally valued at almost $23 million, in use by 81 Kansas counties.  In Kansas many local fire departments are the first responders to any pipeline incident, and these vehicles provide them with the necessary capabilities to meet these obligations.   

These transfers have a long history of being mutually beneficial to the Department of Defense and to state and local fire departments.  As such, we find recent reports that the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army’s TACOM Life Cycle Management Command have suspended the current contract very troubling as it will have significant impacts on our local communities. Not only will new requests not be honored, but currently used vehicles will be unable to be repaired. These vehicles are providing essential services, and are being utilized on an as-needed basis.  Thus, the environmental impact of these vehicles is small, as they are not being utilized in day-to-day operations.

Our local communities depend on these vehicles for public safety. This immediate termination puts local fire district in a potentially dangerous situation during a volatile tornado and weather season in Kansas, and could hamper efforts to respond to fire disasters and protect the local communities. We strongly encourage previously approved practices by the EPA and Department of Defense in this regard to be re-implemented immediately. We appreciate your consideration and timely response to this request.


Pat Roberts                                                                                 
United States Senator                                                             

Jerry Moran
United States Senator                      

Lynn Jenkins, CPA                                                                  
Member of Congress                                                             

Mike Pompeo
Member of Congress                                                              

Kevin Yoder
Member of Congress                                                              

Tim Huelskamp
Member of Congress