Saturday, May 27, 2017

Forest Service Owns ‘National Junkyard’ of Thousands of Unused Buildings

The Forest Service oversees thousands of buildings that are unused, many that are falling apart, full of mold, and pose safety hazards, according to a new audit. The inspector general for the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that the Forest Service has compiled over $5 billion worth of repairs to buildings, roads, dams, and trails it operates. Officials admit they are becoming a "national junkyard" by overseeing thousands of decrepit buildings the government does not need. "During our fieldwork, we observed [Forest Service] buildings that were not inspected as well as buildings that forest officials stated had structural issues, mold growth, wide-spread rodent droppings, and other health and safety concerns including 20 buildings with concerns so severe that officials referred to them as ‘red tagged,'" the inspector general reported. "Red tag" refers to buildings and structures that are so unsafe they are closed. Some buildings had asbestos, and one residential building observed by auditors had a 15-foot hole in the roof, as well as mold and fire damage. "As a result, unsafe structures can pose health and safety risks, such as hantavirus or other concerns, to [Forest Service] employees and the public," the inspector general said. Auditors surveyed a sample of 182 dams the Forest Service oversees, and found 76 percent either had no documentation or did not receive required safety inspections. Seventy-seven percent of dams considered to be high hazards "did not receive required safety inspections within the last 5 years." Sixty-one percent had no emergency action plan, and some that did had not been updated since 1982. Dams are considered high hazards if their potential failure is "expected to cause the loss of one or more human lives."...more

Smokey management par excellence? Not hardly 

For your weekend reading, the report is embedded below:

No comments: