September 1998 | GAO |DOD Management Issues Related to Chaff |
“Chaff is composed of aluminum-coated silica glass fibers that can be spread by aircraft in flight, ships at sea, and vehicles on the ground to help them evade enemy radar. You expressed concern about DOD’s continued use of chaff for decades without sufficient knowledge of its long-term effects on the environment. As agreed with your office, this report addresses (1) the extent and locations of chaff use, (2) its reported known and potential effects, and (3) the initiatives being taken or considered to address chaff’s unintended effects…p.1
“Air quality issues addressed in the report include the potential for (1) noncompliance with national air quality standards due to the release of significant quantities of particulates, (2) release of hazardous air pollutant emissions, and (3) visibility impairment. The report takes into consideration the Clean Air Act and its amendments and includes a literature review of chaff dispersion and air quality effects as well as its own April 1994 technical report on chaff particulate testing.
The report’s literature review shows that none of the previous studies had addressed the possible formation of inhalable particulates or issues related to compliance with the Clean Air Act.” p.6