Meeting Minutes
Restoration Advisory Board (RAB)
Naval Station Newport, Rhode Island

May 20, 2015, 6:30 PM- 8:00 PM
Courtyard Marriot, Middletown, Rhode Island
Call to Order and Approval of Previous Minutes

David Dorocz (RAB Co-Chair) called the meeting to order. Margaret Kirschner (RAB Co-Chair) acknowledged several new or returning RAB attendees (Allen Shire, Connie Harding, Harold Roode, and John Vitkevich. Mr. Dorocz also announced the presence of Shannon Kam (NAVSTA Newport), as well as Nicole Cowand (new Navy RPM) and Desiree Moyer (new EPA RPM). The RAB members welcomed the new attendees and accepted the minutes from the March 18th meeting.

Site Progress Update

Mark Kauffman (Resolution Consultants) presented the site progress milestone handout and pointed out the specific sites which had new points of contact for EPA and the Navy. Mr. Kauffman additionally reviewed the site progress milestones handout. In the interest of time, specific project-related milestones were not reviewed. David Brown (RAB Member) asked for clarification of the “Cat 2” designations on the site progress milestones. Mr. Dorocz explained that the “Cat 2” designations are related to non-CERCLA petroleum-related sites at the tank farms that are regulated by RIDEM rather than EPA.

Kathy Abbass (RAB Member) thanked Jim Gravette (Navy) for his outreach with a local community member regarding potential disposal areas at Derecktor On-shore. Ms. Abbass and Mr. Gravette also concurred and appreciated that the areas in question were included in the sediment investigation completed during the CERCLA process.

Technical Presentation – Tank Farms 4 and 5

Mr. Gravette presented a status update on Tank Farms 4 and 5. Mr. Gravette outlined the current status of each site and future work at both tank farms, specifically the current remedial design/action phase. Ms. Kirschner asked if the LTM sampling, as written in the proposed plan, had started. Mr. Gravette explained that additional samples were collected during the design phase to better define the area requiring remedial action. Ms. Claudette Weissinger (RAB Member) asked what the average detected soil concentration of arsenic was in soil at Tank Farm 5. Mr. Kauffman indicated concentrations ranged from 10 to 30 ppm, with a few higher locations in the 400 ppm range. Mr. Thurston Gray (RAB Member) asked about tank farm demolition and whether the tanks were filled in-place. Ms. Deb Moore (NASTA Newport) answered that they were demolished and filled in-place. Sections of the sides and top may still be in the ground, but they are inert.

Technical Presentation – Photovoltaic Array

Following the Tank Farm presentation, Mr. Dave Dorocz (RAB Co-Chair) presented the Navy’s proposal for a photovoltaic array at Tank Farm 4, Tank Farm 5, and/or the McAllister Point Landfill.

Ms. Abbass asked how the land would be managed for weed and overgrowth control. Mr. Dorocz did not know exactly since the solar array was still in the proposal stage and maintenance would be addressed in the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) and, later, in the design. Mr. Brown asked how the power would be conveyed across the base. Mr. Dorocz indicated the power would be used by the Navy and connected to their electrical grid. Ms. Abbass asked if the design and planning considered responsibility for long-term operation and maintenance (O&M) of the solar array. Ms. Kam indicated it would be the responsibility of the private operator to design the O&M plan, but would meet NAVSTA Newport requirements as well as State, and Federal laws and regulations. Additionally, the Request for Proposal (RFP) has restrictions to be considered during the design phase of the project.

Mr. David Brown asked if the 30-year contract allowed for upgrades to accommodate future technological advances in solar arrays. Mr. Dorocz indicated that the contractor would most likely make upgrades if it increased their profit. Mr. Allen Shire (RAB Member) asked if the design could be modified to account for wetlands or Superfund areas. Mr. Dorocz indicated that regulated or restricted areas would not be permissible locations for solar arrays and that these areas would be restricted from use in the RFP and PPA.

Ms. Kirschner asked if the solar array would disrupt the LTM monitoring or ongoing CERCLA work. Mr. Dorocz indicated that the contractor would not be able to interfere with ongoing remedial activities. Furthermore, the Navy would have oversight during all phases of planning, building, and maintenance to ensure this did not occur.

Ms. Abbass asked if there would be penalties for not meeting performance or operation goals. Mr. Dorocz indicated that specific contract information was not available at the time, but he was certain the PPA would specify performance standards. Mr. Brown asked if there had been other naval facilities or CERCLA sites who have implemented a similar solar array. Ms. Jane Dolan (EPA) indicated similar solar arrays had been placed at other CERCLA sites and she would provide information to the RAB from the lead EPA project managers of those sites if that was requested.

  Ms. Connie Harding (RAB Member) asked what assurances the Navy could provide to the community given the past issues with renewable energy. Additionally, Ms. Harding asked if this proposal indicated a reinvestment in NAVSTA Newport. Ms. Kam stated that the Navy chose Newport given the energy costs necessary to run the facility as the main reason for its selection.

Ms. Weissinger asked who managed the project. Ms. Kam indicated it was the Navy’s Renewable Energy Project Office. Ms. Kirschner informed the RAB that wetland areas were forming on top of the old tanks and asked if they were managed as natural wetlands. Ms. Kam and Mr. Dorocz indicated that the wetlands are actually vernal pools formed by settling of the tanks; however, they were still managed as wetland areas.

Mr. Brown asked if there would be any additional publicity related to the solar array. Mr. Dorocz indicated an Environmental Assessment (EA), under the National Environmental Policy Act, is underway and the results will be made announced in a Notice of Availability, which will be published in a local newspaper. Ms. Kirschner asked if there would be solar array panels in the decisions units or archeological areas. Mr. Dorocz indicated these areas would be restricted from use in the RFP and PPA.

Community Update

Margaret Kirschner (RAB Co-Chair) indicated that the 20th anniversary of the NAVSTA Newport RAB is actually in November 2015. Ms. Abbass again suggested celebrating the 20th anniversary of the RAB with local and state legislatures as a thank you for the initial funding and support of the RAB. The RAB generally thought that the anniversary was an opportunity to recognize the involvement of community members from Newport, Middletown, Jamestown, and Portsmouth. Additionally, it should be an opportunity to thank the NAVSTA Newport team, regulatory agencies, and other who worked for towards the environmental restoration of the base. The RAB suggested involving Lisa Rama (NAVSTA Newport) to increase the publicity and mark the occasion. Mr. Brown offered to review the records for a list of the original RAB members.

Ms. Kirschner met the new Newport Library Director and learned of their new referencing system. Mr. Kauffman and Mr. Gravette informed the RAB that the Community Involvement Plan (CIP) is in the process of being updated. As a result, surveys will be mailed out to increase awareness, and posters are being considered for the four repositories to indicate the location of the Administrative Record and points of contact. Ms. Kirschner suggested the posters be similar to what was made for public meetings explaining the purpose of the Administrative Record and other important information.

Ms. Harding suggested providing general information about the RAB and posting the date for the next meeting. Ms. Kirschner supported the idea of having the posters at the library and town hall. The Navy will provide a draft version of the poster at the next meeting for comment.

Regulatory Update

No RIDEM or EPA updates were presented.

Adjournment

The RAB meeting adjourned at 8:00pm. Topics for the next RAB meeting on July 15th included the approach for the Community Involvement Plan (CIP) or results from the Tank Farm 3 Remedial Investigation (RI).

/S/
D. D. Dorocz

Enclosures: (5428Kb)
  1. Meeting Agenda
  2. Attendance Sheet
  3. Site Status Summary and Path Forward
  4. Site Progress Milestones
  5. Tank Farm 4 and 5 Presentation
  6. Solar Photovoltaic Array Presentation

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