JANUARY 15, 2003

On Wednesday, January 15, 2003, the NAVSTA Newport Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) gathered at the Hyatt Regency Newport for its monthly meeting. The meeting began at 7:15 p.m. and ended at 8:50 p.m.

In attendance were John Vitkevich, Kathy Abbass, Edward Moitoza, David Brown, Susan Hester, Howard Porter, John Lennon, Emmet Turley, James Myers, Manuel Marques, Thurston Gray, Thomas Reardon, Claudette Weissinger, Carolyn Petrocelli, David D. Dorocz (NAVSTA), Melissa Griffin (NAVSTA), Kathy Marley (NAVSTA), Theresa Ryan (NAVSTA), Gregg Kolhweiss (NAVSTA), Paul Kulpa (RIDEM), and Kymberlee Keckler (USEPA)

Mr. John Vitkevich opened the meeting and welcomed the group to the Hyatt Regency Newport. He announced that due to renovation work at the Officers' Club, the next RAB meeting, in February, will also be held at the Hyatt Regency Newport. The meetings held at the Hyatt are at no additional expense to the RAB, as the Officers' Club negotiated an agreement with the Hyatt.

Mr. Vitkevich welcomed Carolyn Petrocelli from Middletown who attended the meeting as an observer.


There were no changes to the minutes of the November 2002 meeting. John Vitkevich asked for a motion to accept the minutes, which was seconded and then carried.


Mr. Edward Moitoza opened the committee planning session and began with discussion on the RAB schedule for calendar year 2003. He provided the RAB with his handout provided as enclosure (1). See enclosure (1) for a summary of the suggested subjects and events for the upcoming meetings.
The new RAB website has been updated from the address located on the top of enclosure (1). The new site address is www.nsnpt.navy.mil/Environmental/rab_home.htm. Please note this change, as the website itself has been updated. Mr. Moitoza stated that the new web site looks excellent and provides the public with a lot of helpful information on the RAB and IR Program.

Mr. Moitoza reminded the group that it is time for the annual Community Co-Chair election. A Community Co-Chair may repeat a year, but the candidate must still go through the election process. Mr. Moitoza asked the RAB how previous elections solicited new candidates. Dr. Abbass replied that in the past, a person would make it known to the board if they are interested in serving as the Community Co-Chair.

Dr. Kathy Abbass asked Mr. John Vitkevich if he plans to seek reelection. Mr. Vitkevich stated that he has enjoyed his position as Community Co-Chair, and would like to stay on for an additional year, but further stated anyone wishing to be a candidate to please come forth and show their interest.

The election for Community Co-Chair will be held during the February 19, 2003 meeting.

The Naval Station Newport RAB Charter and Mission Statement is provided as enclosure (2). At the suggestion of Mr. Moitoza and in support of the RAB's mission, the year 2003 RAB meetings will be scheduled to include hourly presentations by each Committee Chair. The presentations are to focus on the goals and events planned for 2003. One presentation will be scheduled each quarter, with a written report included in the minutes for that month.

David Brown asked if there is a plan to have an
election for new Committee Chairmen. Ed Moitoza acknowledged that this should be considered and the role of each committee in supporting the RAB should be evaluated.

The RAB members expressed their concern on reaching out to the local communities. Emmet Turley indicated the RAB should try to focus on how each member of the Board is "selling" the RAB to the local communities. The following comments were made by the Board members:

Edward Moitoza stressed that the job of the Board is to simply communicate information to the public and noted that more exposure to the public, and the press, would be beneficial to all concerned.

Claudette Wessinger stated the RAB is key in allowing the community to participate in the Navy's environmental cleanup efforts.

Kathy Abbass stated that the Board is not in place to be a spokesperson for the Navy, but instead a conduit of information.

John Lennon agreed that the purpose of the Board is communication. Communicating to the local communities is a way of selling the RAB to the general public.

Howard Porter stated that personally discussing the RAB with others on an individual basis helps to communicate the RABs efforts.

Kymberlee Keckler stated that membership on the RAB is an opportunity where the community can get involved with decisions that affect the local communities.

Carolyn Petrocelli became aware of the meeting through the Newport newspaper ad. Carolyn stated that from the ad she understood the RAB to be a core group of individuals discussing certain environmental issues on a monthly basis. She further stated opening the meeting up to more people would aid in reaching out to each of the communities.

The group discussed open house public hearings. Kathy Abbass suggested taking the opportunity to recruit new committee membership during open house meetings, as there would likely be interested people in attendance.

Dr. David Brown stated he would like to see the RAB be more supportive of the Navy in its future planning. Dr. Brown feels the RAB should utilize all its resources, in the upcoming months.

John Vitkevich clarified the goals of the Board and discussed what is important for the upcoming year. John asked the community members to give their idea of hot topics and issues that the RAB will need to focus on during RAB discussions in 2003. The RAB members agreed that the topics associated with Navy cleanup projects will be included on meeting agendas accordingly.

Ed Moitoza received a round of applause for his efforts in preparing and presenting enclosure (1).


Project Committee - Emmet Turley

Mr. Turley provided information on how dredging is performed using a vacuum method. The information is included as enclosure (3).

Education Committee - Kathy Abbass

Dr. Kathy Abbass discussed the RAB administrative records on file at the local libraries. The libraries contain more materials on Navy projects than may be necessary, as some of the materials may be outdated or superceded by new material(s).

Ms. Melissa Griffin stated the entire administrative record is now available on a 6 Compact Disk (CD) set. The RAB information CD's are available to replace previously provided copies of administrative records to the Newport, Middletown, and Portsmouth libraries.

Planning Committee - Ed Moitoza

Mr. Moitoza reiterated that the next RAB meeting in February is to begin with a Community Co-Chair election. A Navy IR Program 2003 Quarterly Activity Update will follow the election. A draft agenda for 2003 will be provided at the next meeting for the community members to review.

Public Information Committee - David Brown

Dr. David Brown welcomed new members to participate in the Public Information Committee. Dr. Brown asked all who wish to learn more about the Public Information Committee to please provide him with their email addresses.

Dr. Brown stated the method of viewing the administrative record information via compact disk is a new source to obtaining RAB information. He asked that this new method be included on the Navy RAB website, when it becomes available to the public libraries.

Membership - Thurston Gray

Ms. Carolyn Petrocelli of Middletown was officially introduced and welcomed to the RAB as a prospective new community member.

Mr. Thurston Gray told the RAB there are presently 20 community members. Thirteen members were present at the evenings meeting, with 2 members excused.

The Membership Committee has plans to call inactive members to follow-up on their membership status. Mr. Gray will continue to look at the balance of the members from each community in the upcoming months.


Mr. David Dorocz made the following announcements. As part of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) the Navy will hold an open house public hearing. The hearing is presently scheduled for sometime in February and the exact date and place will be announced. The hearing will allow the local citizens to provide their specific comments and concerns. Mr. Dorocz encouraged all RAB community members to attend. The Navy hopes to provide an introduction to the proposed plan of building a golf course at the tank farms location. The hearing will include discussion on the present study being performed by the Navy. Cultural surveys and wetland delineation are a part of the Navy's study and presently 60% of the study has been completed. Mr. Dorocz also announced to the RAB members that there will be an additional pubic hearing scheduled, and the date and time of the second meeting will also be announced.

John Vitkevich requested that the RAB members be informed two weeks prior to the meeting with a special notice.

Additionally, Howard Porter requested an announcement ad be placed in the local newspaper.

David Dorocz informed the group that federal legislation is in the works to transfer the backyard area of the Defense Fuel Supply Depot, a 28-acre area on the waterside in Melville.

Dr. Abbass stressed the need for the land's historical sites to be properly addressed.


The next meeting of the Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) will be on February 19, 2003, at 7:00 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Newport. The meeting will include a Navy Quarterly Activity Update.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:50 p.m.

(1) RAB Planning Session on January 15, 2003 (91 KB)
(2) Naval Station Newport Mission Statement and Operating Procedures (285 KB)
(3) Project Committee - Environmental Dredging Report of January 15, 2003 (570 KB)