The NAVSTA Newport Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) gathered at the Officers’ Club for their bimonthly meeting on Wednesday, July 16, 2008. The meeting started at 7:00 p.m. and adjourned at 8:40 p.m.

See enclosure (1) for the attendance list.

Ms. Cornelia Mueller, the Navy Co-Chair, opened the meeting and welcomed the group.


The minutes from the May meeting were approved.


Update on the Remedial Investigation at the NUSC (Naval Underwater Systems Center) Disposal Area

Mr. Steve Parker presented the update on this field work. (see enclosure (2)). The investigation at NUSC includes sampling and analysis of sediments, soils, ground water, and surface water (ponds and streams), as well as fish and earthworm tissues. Geological, geophysical, and hydrological investigations are also included. The work is underway.

OFFTA (Old Fire Fighting Training Area) Revetment Design

Mr. Parker also presented the revetment project for OFFTA. The entire presentation is provided as (enclosure (3)). The revetment will protect the shoreline from further erosion. It is one of three steps identified to complete the work at OFFTA (along with a removal action which has been completed and a revision of the Feasibility Study). The revetment runs along 1200 linear feet of shoreline. The cost of installing the revetment will be approximately $5M. RAB members were concerned about the weight of the material to be brought to the site (1300 tons of soil, gravel, and rock) over public roads and the fuel costs associated with transporting the material. The RAB members suggested that bringing in the materials by barge may provide a fuel cost savings and would protect roadways from wear and tear. Once the revetment is complete, the revised Feasibility Study will be completed and a Record of Decision (ROD) will be issued. Naval Station Newport intends to use the site to provide parking for the new Fitness Facility across the street.


1. Field Work Update – Work is in progress at NUSC as described above; four additional test pits will be dug along Taylor Drive to finish the soil removal project at OFFTA; demolition of an old temporary structure at Tank Farm 5 and the construction of the revetment will be awarded before the end of September.

2. Open Discussion on BRAC Property Actions – Ms. Mueller reported that as of the beginning of July, Naval Station’s deadline to issue the final Master Plan was July 25. The RAB members were interested in a presentation on the Master Plan. Ms. Mueller will contact the Public Affairs Officer.

3. Items of Interest - Dr. Kathy Abbass provided copies of two newspaper articles from 1937 and 1951 when fishing vessels in Newport were sunk by Navy torpedoes (enclosure (4)); Mr. John Vitkevich is researching the potential to use Tank Farm 2 for oil storage for Aquidneck Island; Mr. Dave Brown reported that the scope of the Newport Tree Commission was broadened in June to include open space. It and sister groups in Middletown and Portsmouth will work with the Aquidneck Land Trust to strengthen legal protections against over-development in parks and other holdings of public interest. This may help ensure that Navy and other land along the Island's west shore is guarded in foresighted manner. Areas that are in agriculture, grass, forest or wetlands may be able to receive further help from the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the US Department of Agriculture (NRCS/USDA) via the Eastern Rhode Island Conservation District. Dave is on the Newport Tree and Open Space Commission, as well as the Eastern RI Conservation District board. He'd be glad to provide details.

4. Honorary Passes – Current passes expire in August. Ms. Mueller issued new passes that will expire in September of 2009.


Membership Committee – The Committee Chair reported that there are 16 members; 10 were present at the meeting.

Planning Committee – Plans were made to have a technical meeting in September, a bus tour in November (when foliage has dropped), and a visit in the near future to either another Superfund site or public meeting. Ms. Mueller will contact the EPA Community Involvement Coordinator.

Project Committee – The Committee Chair did not attend the meeting.


The next meeting of the RAB will be held on September 17, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. at the Officers’ Club.


(1) Attendance List
(2) Update on the Remedial Investigation at the NUSC Disposal Area
(3) Old Fire Fighting Training Area Revetment Design
(4) Copied Articles provided by Dr. Abbass

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