RAB MEETING MINUTES

NAVAL STATION (NAVSTA) NEWPORT
RESTORATION ADVISORY BOARD MINUTES
JULY 19, 2006 MEETING

CALL TO ORDER

The NAVSTA Newport Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) gathered at the Officers' Club for their monthly meeting on Wednesday, July 19, 2006. The meeting started at 7:00 p.m. and adjourned at 9:00 p.m.

See enclosure (1) for the attendance list.

Dr. Kathy Abbass, the Community Co-Chair, opened the meeting and welcomed the group.

APPROVAL OF PREVIOUS MINUTES

The minutes from the March and May meetings were approved.

MELVILLE WATER TOWER SOIL INVESTIGATION

Mr. Steve Parker, of Tetra Tech NUS, Inc., presented information on the field sampling plan for the soil at the Melville Water Tower (see enclosure (2)). Soil samples, collected and analyzed by RIDEM (Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management) in December of 2005 and EPA in May of 2006, as well as paint samples analyzed by the Navy, indicated that lead was possibly present at levels that exceeded RIDEM standards for soil, particularly samples collected directly under the water tower. Once the tower is demolished, the Navy will begin work on a focused soil investigation. The Navy expects to do soil removal to address the contamination.

PCB SPILL AT BUILDING 355

Ms. Cornelia Mueller, of Naval Station's Environmental Office, presented the information on cleanup efforts at Building 355. The full presentation is included as enclosure (3). PCB contaminated soil was discovered under the concrete floor of a transformer room of Building 355 in 2003 during installation of a new transformer and utility lines. Two phases of sampling have been completed to delineate the extent of contamination in the concrete floor of the transformer room, below the floor, in the groundwater, and in the surface and subsurface soil located outside of the building. A site investigation report will be completed and submitted to the regulators in August. Most of the contamination was found in the soil right outside of the two doorways to the transformer room.

REMOVAL ACTION COMPLETION AT THE NUSC DISPOSAL AREA

Mr. Parker provided a summary of the paint can and drum removal activities at the NUSC Disposal area. In total, 36 drums of roofing tar and 113 tons of soil were removed from the drum area and 236 tons of lead contaminated soil and paint cans were removed from the paint can area. The areas were restored once the removal was complete. A Remedial Investigation Work Plan for the entire NUSC site is nearly complete. The remedial investigation will likely begin in 2007.

EELGRASS RESTORATION AT THE MCALLISTER POINT LANDFILL

Mr. Thurston Gray, a Middletown resident, member of the Restoration Advisory Board, and Save the Bay volunteer, discussed the project. Mr. Gray assisted the Navy's contractor, at the end of May, with preparation of the transplants for a 0.5 acre area adjacent to the landfill. About 4000 transplants, collected by divers from Jamestown, RI, were planted. Photographs, taken during the project, are provided as enclosure (5).

NEW BUSINESS

US Army Corps Update for Rhode Island - Update for Rhode Island is provided as enclosure (6).

Draft Final Work Plan for Remedial Investigation for NUSC Disposal Area - CD copies were available at the meeting. Comments can be submitted to Ms. Cornelia Mueller at cornelia.mueller@navy.mil.

Draft Final Remedial Action Completion Report for the NUSC Disposal Area Soil Removal Action - CD copies were available at the meeting. Comments can be submitted to Ms. Mueller at cornelia.mueller@navy.mil.

Field Sampling Plan and Paint Chip Analysis for the Melville Water Tower - Copies were made available at the meeting. Comments can be submitted to Ms. Mueller at cornelia.mueller@navy.mil.

Draft Engineering Evaluation and Cost Analysis for Derecktor Shipyard Sandblast Grit-Impacted Area - CD copies were available at the meeting. Comments can be submitted to Ms. Mueller at cornelia.mueller@navy.mil.

September's Boat Tour - The members are interested in viewing the shoreline to just north of the Tank Farms. They are interested in a presentation and viewing of the Melville North Landfill and Weaver Cove area.

State's Soil Arsenic Direct Exposure Criteria - RAB member David Brown expressed concern over the low soil arsenic threshold set by the State since it does not seem to take into consideration the levels of naturally-occurring soil arsenic, nor does the low threshold seem to be consistent with levels that could possibly jeopardize human health. He suggested that the RAB invite an expert to discuss the topic at a future meeting. Mr. Brown intends to study the subject and will bring additional information to the members.

The RIDEM Remedial Project Manager, Mr. Paul Kulpa, stated that the State had changed the arsenic criteria recently from 1.7 ppm for residential sites and 3.8 ppm for industrial/commercial sites to 7.0 ppm for both residential and industrial/commercial sites.

Mr. Kulpa also stated that comments received from stakeholders during the six-month public review and comment period indicated that the revised thresholds would adequately address stakeholder concerns. However, the Navy's position is that its' comments were ignored (see enclosure (7) for RIDEM's responses to Navy comments). Further, since CERCLA forbids clean up of naturally occurring materials, the Navy is undertaking a base-wide background study to determine the naturally occurring levels of arsenic for each soil type at Naval Station Newport.

OLD BUSINESS

Oral History - The RAB members voted to proceed with the oral history project Dr. Abbass discussed at the March meeting. Ms. Kymberlee Keckler, the US EPA's (Environmental Protection Agency) Remedial Project Manager, indicated that a similar effort had been undertaken at a cleanup site on the Housatonic River and that it had been very successful. RAB member Thomas McGrath was concerned that the effort would not be productive. He had participated in an event to bring together former employees of Goat Island; he estimated that 40 individuals participated.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Membership Committee - Mr. Thurston Gray reported that we currently have 13 community members; 9 were present.

Planning Committee - The committee chair did not have anything to report.

Project Committee - The committee chair was not present at the meeting.

NEXT MEETING

The next meeting of the RAB will be on September 20, 2006, at 5:00 p.m.

Enclosures:

(1) Attendance List
(2) Melville Water Tower Soil Investigation
(3) PCB Spill at Building 355
(4) Removal Action Completion at the NUSC Disposal Area
(5) Eelgrass Restoration at the McAllister Point Landfill
(6) Army Corps Update for Rhode Island (996 Kb)
(7) RIDEM Responses to Comments on the Revised Arsenic Regulations (172 Kb)

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