January 18, 2012


The NAVSTA Newport Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) gathered at the Officers’ Club for their bimonthly meeting on Wednesday, January 18, 2012. The meeting started at 6:30 p.m. See enclosure (1) for the meeting agenda and enclosure (2) for the attendance list.

David Dorocz, the Navy Co-Chair, opened the meeting and welcomed the group. He introduced Captain Douglas Mikatarian, the new Captain for Naval Station Newport.


David Dorocz asked if there were any questions or comments on the previous meeting minutes. The November 16, 2011 minutes were approved.


Steve Parker (Tetra Tech) made a presentation about urban fill and asbestos at Naval Station Newport. Historically demolition debris was not vigilantly managed and debris was left at some former building locations as urban fill. Urban fill typically includes concrete, and brick, but sometimes also includes remnants of glass, wood, asbestos floor tile, and cement asbestos siding board. Tetra Tech evaluated five such areas where asbestos materials were found in footing excavations for new buildings. A draft investigation report will be issued in January 2012. The presentation is provided as enclosure (3).

Kathy Abbass noted that on an historic note, H.M.S. Juno may have been lost near the steep embankment by the Supply Corps building, so care should be taken if there is any work in this area.

Captain Mikatarian asked about the requirements for these sites. Steve Parker replied that under CERCLA the site needs to be evaluated for risk and that any unacceptable risk to human health or the environment needs to be addressed.

Kymberlee Keckler (EPA) noted that asbestos was found at OFFTA during revetment construction. Dave Dorocz noted that 15,000 tons of asbestos-containing soil was removed from the site. David Brown asked how the asbestos was discovered at the site. Steve Parker replied that the construction crew found the asbestos-containing floor tile during excavation and that floor tile does not produce fibers readily.

PRESENTATION: Dispute Resolution Issue and Process

Dave Dorocz (Navy) made a presentation on the dispute resolution process and the recent formal dispute. The presentation is provided as enclosure (4). RIDEM requested formal Dispute Resolution in a letter dated 5 October 2011. The dispute was resolved on 12 January 2012. These letters are provided in enclosure (5).

Kymberlee Keckler (EPA) stated that there are two main issues (1) how to identify what to clean up and (2) what role RIDEM state regulations have at CERCLA sites. David Brown suggested that the RIDEM cleanup criteria may be too conservative and asked if these numbers were being reviewed by RIDEM. Kymberlee noted that there would never be cleanup below naturally occurring background conditions.

Claudette Weissinger stated that RIDEM is allowing a wetland in Portsmouth to be filled with soil that contains 43 ppm arsenic even though the RIDEM standard is 7 ppm. The construction contractor was given permission to exceed the standard due to higher costs for obtaining cleaner fill. Claudette also stated that she thought she had read that RIDEM was going to increase their standard for lead.


Stephen Parker said that there are no field work updates.


Dave Dorocz (Navy) asked if any community members had topics they were interested in for the next meeting. Steve Parker (Tetra Tech) stated that the Navy is still trying to determine how the dispute resolution will impact current reports. Maritza Montegross (Navy) stated that almost all of the current documents will be impacted by the dispute so the schedules will need to be revised.

Kathy Abbass asked how this will impact getting remedies in place by 2014. Maritza replied that she does not know how extensive the impact will be. Kathy noted that not much progress has been made in the past 8 years and asked why everything was so slow. Dave Dorocz (Navy) replied that the situation is complex and that there are many issues that have slowed down progress. Kymberlee Keckler (EPA) commented that the Newport base has the worst track record of meeting schedules than other bases she is aware of. Kathy expressed concern that there would not be additional funding if Newport does not meet the 2014 date. Dave Dorocz stated that 2014 is a goal, but that there will still be funding after that date because overall the Navy is doing very well at achieving the 2014 goal. Dave Dorocz stated that 2014 is a goal so the Navy can focus on MRP sites after that time, but that there will still be funding for CERCLA cleanup.

David Brown asked Kymberlee Keckler (EPA) for her opinion on why things were going so slowly. Kymberlee replied that there are several issues, including the failure to meet and not getting comments or responses to comments on time. Dave Dorocz (Navy) noted that some progress on some sites had to be stopped while the formal dispute was being resolved.


Thurston Gray reported that 6 of 16 members were present at the meeting. He noted that only 9 members are truly active.


Dave Dorocz (Navy) asked if the group would prefer to have RAB meetings at a different location off base in the future. Kymberlee commented that attendance might increase if the meetings were off base. Kathy Abbass mentioned that in the past the RAB meeting has been off base and that did not increase membership. Attendance is higher when there are tours of the sites. Dave Dorocz noted that he can do research on alternate meeting locations if members are interested in that. Dan Sullivan asked if there have been many responses to the advertisement in the newspaper. Dave Dorocz replied that he has gotten a few emails and phone calls.


The next meeting of the RAB will be held on March 21, 2012 at 6:30 PM. The meeting will take place at the Officer’s Club unless there is a request to move it to another location. Dave Dorocz will inform RAB members via email if the meeting location changes. Meeting adjourned at 7:45 PM.

D. D. Dorocz

(1) Agenda
(2) Attendance List
(3) Evaluation of Urban Fill Presentation
(4) Dispute Resolution Process Presentation
(5) Dispute Letter and Agreement

return to minutes