The US Defense Department has backed away from a plan to conduct an environmental assessment of missile silos at Air Force bases.
That announcement today was welcomed by North Dakota Senator John Hoeven, who has been pushing the department to stop the assessments that he says violate the letter of the most recent law funding the defense department.
The environmental study, which may have led to removal and destruction of many silos containing Minuteman-3 missiles, would have also required much more time for the Air Force to carry out, than the Defense Department had allotted.
The Air Force assistant chief of staff says keeping the missiles as they stand now would be cheaper than removing them.
Senator Hoeven says it makes no sense to reduce missile silos with the world situation as it stands.
(Sen. John Hoeven, (R) ND "Its a big step in the right direction and that's all about us keeping all of our missile silos, which is vital, and particularly now with what's going on in the world. Look at what's happening with Russia, with Iran, with North Korea. So this is a really good development - it's exactly what we've been working to have happen."
Senator Hoeven says the decision by the Defense Department to stop the environmental assessment regarding the missile silos is considered a "hold," not a complete abandonment of the idea.
He says he will continue working to get the plan scrubbed.