September 16, 2009 MEETING


The NAVSTA Newport Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) gathered at the Officers’ Club for their bimonthly meeting on Wednesday, September 16, 2009. The meeting started at 7:00 p.m. and adjourned at 8:50 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 meeting were approved.


Mr. Glen Clark, Deputy Program Manager for the Navy Inactive Ships Program, presented the Inactive Ships Program information and a status of the cleanup of ships located at Naval Station Newport. The full presentation is provided as enclosure (2). The program provides support for decommissioning and inactivation of Navy ships. Currently, there are 59 ships in storage. Decommissioned ships are transferred or disposed of through sales/transfers to foreign militaries, donations, artificial reefing, and at-sea live-fire exercises.

The Forrestal was decommissioned in 1993, removed from donation hold in 2004, and designated for artificial reefing in 2005 (although the final decision for the disposal method has yet to be determined). Environmental cleanup of the Forrestal started in January of 2006 and includes removal of hazardous materials such as fuel oils, hydraulic systems, batteries, refrigerants, gas cylinders, sewage, mercury containing materials, ammunition, and equipment containing liquid PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls). Paint and asbestos are maintained and stabilized, respectively.

The Saratoga was decommissioned in 1994 and has been on donation hold since 1998. The USS Saratoga Museum Foundation, the sole donation interest, submitted an application in September of 2008.

Mr. Clark expects that the ships will be removed from Pier 1 by 2011. One will be moved in May of 2010 and the other sometime before October of 2011. In total, 46 vessels have been donated over the past 60 years through the program. Only two have been returned to the Navy when the donation interests were unable to provide adequate care and maintenance of the ships. He also reported that a recent dive survey of the Forrestal indicated the ship bottom was covered with marine growth.

At the July meeting, Ms. Lisa Rama, the Public Affairs Officer for Naval Station Newport, provided information on Piers 1 and 2. As stated in the Vision 2035 Master Plan for Naval Station Newport, Pier 1 is to be demolished once the inactive ships are moved.

Recent inspections of Pier 2 have determined that pier pilings are in a degraded state. Weight restrictions are now in place on the south side of the Pier, impacting Coast Guard operations. Navy engineers have estimated that, based on current conditions, the Pier will need to be closed by 2019. The Navy does not have any plans to reinforce or make repairs to Pier 2. It does plan to relocate the Coast Guard cutters alongside the area located between Piers 1 and 2. In addition, the Navy has several Military Construction (MILCON) projects planned to move essential facilities on Pier 2.


A BRAC update was provided (see enclosure (3)). The Navy will finalize a comprehensive environmental report on the property by the end of October.


The RAB members, as expressed at the previous meeting, continue to have concerns with the degraded security at the Tank Farms (fence has not been maintained) and trespasser safety. Mr. Howard Porter reported on the condition of Tank Farm 5, particularly his concerns with regards to the soil piles, solid waste, and overgrown nature of the property. He asked if adjacent residents could cut down vegetation.

Mr. Thurston Gray requested an update on the project at the Melville Water Tower. The work to be performed under this project includes installation of a prefabricated pump station. Supply water is to be taken from an above grade buried reservoir. The work consists of demolition of portions of Reservoir 31; construction of a new booster pumping station/generator; upgrades to existing valve inlet vault; and installation of approximately 700 linear feet of buried ductile iron pipe and four fire hydrants. A 1,000,000 gallon, column supported cast in place concrete reservoir will be modified to reduce in size downward to approximately 440,000 gallons. The prefabricated pumping station will be installed upon the floor slab of that part of the reservoir being demolished. The basic pump station building will arrive at the site as a pre-packaged, pre-engineered system. Other project features will include furnishing and wiring a new diesel engine generator inside the pump station building, two new fire hydrants in proximity to the Portsmouth Elementary School, improvements to an existing valve vault, construction of a new gravel based access road, site electrical improvements, an in-line reservoir mixing system and buried ductile iron piping with connection to existing water system. The project is expected to be completed by the end of October.


Ms. Mueller reported on the status of several construction projects. Naval Station Newport will be erecting a MET tower on Tank Farm 4. The tower is used to collect meterological data for possible renewable energy projects at Naval Station Newport.

The Marine Reserves will be installing and occupying 3 temporary trailers on Derecktor Shipyard just south of Pier 1 for 16 months.

The project to construct a new fitness facility has started. The work includes the demolition of several buildings and the construction of a parking lot on the Old Fire Fighting Training Area.

Ms. Winoma Johnson, the NAVFAC (Naval Facilities Engineering Command) Remedial Project Manager, reported that her management had met with US EPA Region 1 managers to discuss the cleanup program throughout the Northeast. State managers from Connecticut, Maine, and Massachusetts also attended the meeting. The Navy’s goal is to achieve the “Remedy in Place” or RIP stage by 2014; RIP is achieved when the construction of a long-term remedy is complete and the remedy is operating as planned to meet project remedial action objectives in the future. The intent is to hold similar meetings on an annual basis.

Ms. Mueller informed the community members that the Navy will be updating their document management system to include web-based access and storage for the administrative record and RAB information and meeting minutes. To date, the Navy has created a prototype website for their Little Creek Installation Restoration site located in Virginia Beach, Virginia (located at https://portal.navfac.navy.mil/portal/page/portal/navfac/navfac_ww_pp/navfac_hq_pp/navfac_env_pp/tab4928871). The Little Creek site is to serve as the template for the other Installation Restoration sites located under the NAVFAC MIDLANT (Mid-Atlantic) area of responsibility, including Naval Station Newport. Sample front pages from the Little Creek web site are provided as enclosure (4). The current RAB website will remain operational until the new site is completed. Once complete, the current site will provide a link to the new site. Not only will this reduce the work load for the RAB web master, Mr. Gray, but it will provide the RAB members with a direct link to all of the documents in the administrative record.


Ms. Mueller reported that field work will continue at Tank Farm 1 and sediment sampling will be performed at Gould Island.


Mr. Gray reported that 9 of 17 members were present at the meeting. Two additional non-member community guests and Naval Station’s Commanding Officer, CAPT Joseph Voboril, also attended.


The next meeting of the RAB will be held on November 18, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.


(1) Attendance List
(2) Cleaning of Inactive Ships Presentation
(3) BRAC Update
(4) Sample Pages from Prototype Website for the Installation Restoration Program at Little Creek

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