The NAVSTA Newport Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) gathered at the Officers’ Club for their monthly meeting on Wednesday, November 15, 2006. The meeting started at 7:00 p.m. and adjourned at 9:00 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 July and September meetings were approved.


Invited speaker, Mr. Timothy O’Connor of VHB, presented information on soil arsenic (see enclosure (2)). Mr. O’Connor discussed manmade sources of arsenic, arsenic regulations, health effects of arsenic, how to remediate arsenic in groundwater and soil, and soil arsenic background (i.e. soil not influenced by a release of arsenic) information. Mr. O’Connor presented graphics that illustrated results obtained during a state-wide analysis of soil arsenic in 1996. For the 112 samples, the geometric average was 1.7 ppm (parts per million), the maximum concentration measured was 16 ppm, and the 95% upper confidence level or UCL (i.e. the calculated value that equals or exceeds the true mean 95% of the time; the 95 percent UCL provides reasonable confidence that the true average will not be underestimated) was 7 ppm. Mr. O’Connor also discussed a study done of 971 samples taken in Rhode Island. For this study, samples were partitioned geographically into background, below regulation, and contaminated locations. Averages ranged between 1.9 and 6.3 ppm, maximum concentrations ranged between 19.2 and 1600 ppm, and the 95% UCLs ranged between 7.1 and 50.3 ppm. Lastly, Mr. O’Connor presented the results of a study finished recently on Aquidneck Island. Six locations were sampled but samples were taken at 1 foot intervals from 0-1 foot below ground surface to 19-20 feet below ground surface. The depth profiles indicated that arsenic concentrations in soil increased with depth. It was Mr. O’Connor’s opinion that the depth profiles provided evidence that the soil arsenic in the six locations was not release related, but rather, was naturally-occurring and part of background.


Mr. James Colter, NAVSTA’s Remedial Project Manager, summarized the activities accomplished and funding executed for the previous fiscal year (i.e. October 2005 through September 2006). In total, $1.4M was spent at the McAllister Point Landfill, the Coddington Cove Rubble Fill Area, the Naval Underwater Systems Center site, the Old Fire Fighting Training Area, Tank Farms 4 and 5, and Gould Island. Mr. Colter expects to spend approximately $5M in the upcoming fiscal year to continue on work started in last fiscal year and to address cleanup work at the former rifle range located in the Carr Point area and the lead-paint contaminated soil at the Melville Water Tower. Funding for the 13 locations managed out of Mr. Colter’s office, for the fiscal year 2007 timeframe, ranged between $60K and $5M. Dr. Kathy Abbass expressed concern that the Navy Report for Fiscal Years 2005-2009 indicated that cleanups were to be complete by 2014. Mr. Colter agreed that the 2014 goal was likely optimistic and the deadline would need to be extended. The full presentation is included as enclosure (3).


Draft Closeout Report for Sludge Disposal Trenches and Review Areas at Tank Farms 4 and 5 - Copies were available at the meeting. Comments can be submitted to Ms. Cornelia Mueller at cornelia.mueller@navy.mil.

Supplemental Eelgrass Mitigation for the Mcallister Point Landfill – Copies were made available at the meeting. Comments can be submitted to Ms. Cornelia Mueller at cornelia.mueller@navy.mil.

Ms. Mueller reminded the group that their elections were scheduled to occur during the next meeting in January.


Oral History – Dr. Abbass reported that she had received material from Ms. Kymberlee Keckler, the US EPA’s (Environmental Protection Agency) Remedial Project Manager, for a similar effort had been undertaken at a cleanup site on the Housatonic River. Dr. Abbass also indicated that she intended to publicize on the local radio station.


Membership Committee – Mr. Thurston Gray reported that we currently have 15 community members; 7 were present.

Planning Committee – The committee chair was not present at the meeting.

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


The next meeting of the RAB will be on January 17, 2007, at 7:00 p.m.


(1) Attendance List
(2) Soil Arsenic
(3) Budget Update

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