May 19, 2010 MEETING


The NAVSTA Newport Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) gathered at the Officersí Club for their bimonthly meeting on Wednesday, May 19, 2010. The meeting started at 6:00 p.m. and adjourned at 7:50 p.m.

See enclosure (1) for the attendance list.

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


The minutes from the March meeting were approved.


Tina Dolen of the Aquidneck Island Planning Commission (AIPC), presented information on the activities of the Commission, the West Side Master Plan, and the surplus process for 225 acres of Navy land including Tank Farms 1 and 2 (see enclosure (2) for handouts).

The Aquidneck Island Planning Commission (AIPC) serves as a regional agency fostering communication, coordination and consensus building among the municipalities of Middletown, Newport, and Portsmouth as well as Naval Station Newport and other civic, state and federal organizations. It provides Middletown, Newport and Portsmouth and with the opportunities, tools, techniques and professional support to resolve island-wide issues and facilitates solutions on critical island-wide comprehensive planning issues such as transportation, water quality, land use and development.

The AIPC is a 501 (c) (3) organization. Its legal basis as a planning commission is found in Rhode Island General Law, Title 45, Chapter 22, which authorizes the establishment of a joint municipal planning commission for the purposes of promoting health, safety, morals, and general welfare of its communities. In 1985, the Towns of Middletown and Portsmouth and the City of Newport each passed a resolution of commitment that set up the structure and purpose of the AIPC.

Three planning board members from each municipality are appointed by their respective Councils to comprise the AIPC Board of Directors. Two of the appointees serve on the board and one serves as an alternate. Liaisons are also appointed from Naval Station Newport and from the University of Rhode Island Coastal Resources Center/RI Sea Grant Program. The planners from each community participate in all meetings and act as advisors to the AIPC. The Commission is staffed by an Executive Director and a Land Use Planner, and contracts with consultants for special projects.

The AIPC provides services through Aquidneck Island that include:

West Side Master Plan;
land use planning;
GIS mapping;
transportation planning;
training for municipal boards, councils and commissions;
community planning;
project facilitation;
technical assistance; and
Transportation Improvement Plans (TIP).

The West Side Master Plan addresses the short and long-term planning issues of the West Side of Aquidneck Island. It represents the collaborative effort of hundreds of Island residents and supporters. Under the auspices of the AIPC, members of the West Side Master Plan Task Force worked closely with Council members, municipal planners and local board members from the Islandís three communities, representatives from Naval Station Newport, Rhode Island Coastal Resources Center, Rhode Island Office of Statewide Planning, Rhode Island Department of Transportation, and the Newport County Chamber of Commerce to produce this comprehensive regional planning document, the first of its kind in the State of Rhode Island.

The project was funded through the assistance of the Rhode Island Congressional Delegation, who succeeded in securing a grant from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration to the Aquidneck Island Planning Commission.

The Master Plan was finalized and released to the public on November 28, 2005 with the participation and overwhelming support from the Congressional Delegation, the Governor of Rhode Island, state and local officials, and the public at large. The AIPC is now working diligently to identify and secure funds for the implementation of projects identified in the plan recommendations.

Recommendations of the West Side Master Plan include implementation strategies for reducing congestion on West Main Road, setting aside land for public access to Narragansett Bay, supporting marine-related business and development, creating safe bicycle paths and walking trails, developing an alternate travel route, and many additional planning ideas and tools throughout the 350-page report. The recommendations for Tank Farms 1 and 2 include preservation of agricultural land, transit nodes, expansion of marine-related trades, mixed use redevelopment, and multi-use development associated with the planned Weaver Cove Marina/Village.


The Navy issued its position on the request made by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The Navy, in a letter dated April 5, 2010, to the Bureau indicated that consideration of their request for a waiver of payment of fair market value and financial responsibility was not consistent with Federal policy and would be contrary to limitations set forth in the applicable Executive Order (EO 13175).

Notice of the establishment of the local redevelopment authority was posted in the Federal Register mid-May. The surplus land process through late 2011 includes requests for Notices of Intent (NOIs) and Public Benefit Conveyances (PBCs), a public workshop to be held in July of 2010, establishment of the Aquidneck Island Reuse Planning Authority (AIRPC), hiring of a Property Reuse Coordinator (PRC), a new market analysis with new redevelopment plan (based on West Side Master Plan) that balances redevelopment with needs of homeless and the existing communities, and submission of the redevelopment plan to Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The Environmental Condition of Property Report (ECP) for the surplus property, including the former Navy Hospital, can be viewed at http://www.bracpmo.navy.mil/announcements.aspx#58.


Each year, the Department of Defense (DoD) submits an annual report to Congress (ARC) on its Defense Environmental Programs (DEP). The Report describes the Department's accomplishments during the past fiscal year in its restoration, conservation, compliance, and pollution prevention programs by addressing plans and funding needs for protecting human health, sustaining the resources DoD holds in the public trust, meeting its environmental requirements, and supporting the military mission.

Kathy Abbass provided information from previous Reports to Congress (2004-2008 and 2005-2009) indicating the Navy goal to complete cleanup (Remedy in Place (RIP)or Response Complete (RC)) at all Installation Restoration sites by 2014 (see enclosure (3)). Prior to fiscal year 2004, DoD submitted separate reports (for five-year intervals) for the Defense Environmental Restoration Program (DERP) and the Environmental Quality (EQ) Programs. The most current report (for fiscal year 2008) can be viewed at https://www.denix.osd.mil/portal/page/portal/ARC/ARCFY2008.


Cornelia Mueller reported that field work will take place at Gould Island, Tank Farm 1 (by DESC/DLA), Tank Farm 4, Tank Farm 5, Carr Point, the Coddington Cove Rubble Fill Area, the NUSC (Naval Underwater Systems Center or NUWC) site, and the Old Fire Fighting Training Area (revetment construction).


Thurston Gray reported that eight of 18 members were present at the meeting. Paul Kulpa, the Remedial Project Manager for the State of Rhode Islandís Department of Environmental Management introduced Gary Jablonski. Gary will replace Paul as the RIDEM Remedial Project Manager for the IR Program.


The next meeting of the RAB will be held on July 21, 2010 at 6:00 p.m. The second half of the meeting will include a public information session and a public hearing on the proposed plan for the Old Fire Fighting Training Area. The plan describes the remedy for the site that includes asphalt, land use controls, and groundwater monitoring.


(1) Attendance List
(2) Handouts from Presentation on the West Side Master Plan
(3) Excerpts from Reports to Congress

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