NOVEMBER 17, 2010

6:10 PM – Mr. David Dorocz (Navy) called the meeting to order

Mr. Dorocz reintroduced himself as the acting Navy Co-Chair in the absence of Ms. Cornelia Mueller, who has been acting in this capacity for some time.

Mr. Dorocz noted that the previous meeting minutes were issued via electronic mail to the membership, and asked for a motion to accept the minutes. The motion passed.

Navy RAB Public web site

Mr. Ed Corack (Navy) introduced the item: Mr. Corack stated that the public RAB web site is being moved to the Navy Portal (Department of Defense .mil server), as announced at previous RAB meetings. The old web site operated and maintained by the RAB members, and paid for by the Navy IR funding, is paid through June of 2011, but will not be renewed after that date, per new Navy policy. All the past meeting notes and pertinent information has been migrated to the new web site, except for personal identifiable information (PII), which the Navy cannot make publically available for security reasons. When asked, Mr. Corack noted that all the RAB web sites are being centralized under the Navy Portal under a standard format by their contractor, Tetra Tech. Mr. Corack noted the long and difficult link name, and acknowledged it was not an easily referenced link.


The centralization to the Navy Portal will allow the Navy to standardize the RAB web sites for all Navy bases and control the release of sensitive information.

Several members noted displeasure with the link name and length.

A demonstration of the new web site was performed onscreen.

A citizen expressed concern that the RAB members names and what they do are not described on the new web site. This was investigated and only the names are listed. Mr. Corack noted that it was the Navy’s intent to eliminate the publication of this addresses and phone numbers for the sake of personal security. Several citizens stated that they did not feel such eliminations are necessary or warranted.

Mr. Thurston Gray noted that he has maintained the previous web site since its development and does not mind continuing to do so. He asked if a link to the old web site could be added to the new web site. Mr. Corack stated that he would investigate if that could be added.

Ms. Abbass stated that the purpose of the RAB is to be a conduit between the Navy and the public, and if this site does not allow some of that information, that takes away the purpose stated. Ms. Abbass also stated that the Navy is not allowed to tell the RAB what to do, and decide what is appropriate for publication. Mr. Dan Sullivan stated that overall, this rollout seems to be a bit more like the Navy making a decision independent of the wishes of the RAB body.

It was noted other information provided on the existing RAB web site has not been added to the new one:
  • The page “About RAB” is not included, the information on that page is the new member handbook. This was requested to be added.
  • The link to the NETC Newport Public Health Assessment” is not included.
Mr. Corack stated that he would be looking into the possibility of adding this information. Mr. Dorocz asked if Mr. Corack could provide an update on this by the next RAB meeting.

Agenda Item 2 – Field Work Update

Mr. Stephen Parker presented the current and near future field work
  • Site investigation field work at Site 4 – Coddington Cove Rubble Fill Area will be conducted (began last week) for the next four or five weeks.
  • Well decommissioning will be conducted at Tank Farm 5 between December and January/
  • The revetment construction is approximately one third complete, and currently on hold pending decision on how to dispose of soil containing asbestos-containing floor tiles excavated from the shoreline.
Mr. Dorocz asked what the next publications would be for the IR sites. Mr. Parker responded that there were a number of reports anticipated for December:
  • The Draft Phase 2 RI and Baseline Ecological Risk Assessment
  • The Data Gaps Reports for Tank Farms 4 and 5
  • The Draft Feasibility Study for the NUSC Disposal Area
  • The Supplemental Remedial Investigation Report for the NUSC Disposal Area
Ms. Abbass asked if the Navy truly felt that they would finish their work on the IR program sites by 2014. Mr. Corack stated that this is the objective, and he understood her concern. He also stated that the program will not completely end because there are other sites that are being discovered now that will need to be addressed. Ms. Abbass stated that it is her concern that the enabling legislation will expire in 2014, and as such funding will likely go away. Mr. Corack assured that this is not the case. Mr. Dorocz noted that the did not know where the 2014 date comes from, but there are a lot of schedules tied to it. He stated that he would look into that.

Committee Reports:

Membership – Thurston Gray:

Mr. Gray stated that there are currently 18 members, three have not attended in some time, six present.

No other committee reports were made.

New Business:

Informal discussion brought out the following information: Refreshments for the RAB will be discontinued, due to the cost. When the RAB was originally formed, the venue was a Marriot Hotel, who provided food for free. When it was decided to have it at the current venue, it continued to be free for an undetermined period of time. It is no longer free, and cannot be paid for out of the IR Program budget.

No further new business was brought up for discussion

Mr. Dorocz requested a motion to adjourn

Mr. Marques moved to adjourn

Mr. Porter seconded

Vote to adjourn – passed

Adjourned 7:14 PM

After reviewing the above minutes, Dr. Abbass provided the following comments:

The following should be included in the minutes:

(1) A summary of the decisions made about the RAB website, i.e., that the RAB members want to keep our own address, separate from the Navy's, and that the staff promised to look into how that might be done. The RAB webmaster offered to continue his work at no cost to the Navy. Both were approved by a voice vote.

(2) The discussion about the possibility of meeting at a location other than the Officer's club, but the members present came to no conclusion.

(3a) I again brought up my frustration that the RI clean-up is taking so long, especially since the deadline for completion is 2014. I was particularly interested to hear that Norfolk, VA has completed its work. You will not convince me that they had fewer (or less complex) remedial projects than we have in Rhode Island.

(3b) After more than 15 years of work, Rhode Island has come to Records of Decision and to implementation of the final clean-up processes for less than half the original list. If I am wrong about the 2014 drop-dead date for funding, then the slowness of the local clean-up process is merely outrageous. But if my understanding of 2014 as the drop-dead date for funding is correct, then Rhode Island is at risk of criticism (or worse) for its slow compliance.

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