(a) The prohibition in 223.7303 does not apply to critical defense applications if no substitute can meet performance requirements. The DoD policy of April 8, 2009, “Minimizing the Use of Hexavalent Chromium,” contains requirements for weighing hexavalent chromium versus substitutes. DoD Program Managers must consider the following factors—
(1) Cost effectiveness of alternative materials or processes;
(2) Technical feasibility of alternative materials or processes;
(3) Environment, safety, and occupational health risks associated with the use of the hexavalent chromium or substitute materials in each specific application;
(4) Achieving a DoD Manufacturing Readiness Level of at least eight for any qualified alternative;
(5) Materiel availability of hexavalent chromium and the proposed alternatives over the projected life span of the system; and
(6) Corrosion performance difference of alternative materials or processes as determined by agency corrosion subject matter experts.
(b) However, unless an exception in 223.7304 applies, the incorporation of hexavalent chromium in items acquired by DoD shall be specifically authorized at a level no lower than a general or flag officer or a member of the Senior Executive Service from the Program Executive Office or equivalent level, in coordination with the component Corrosion Control and Prevention Executive. Follow the procedures in PGI 223.7305 .