July 17, 2002

On Wednesday, July 17, 2002, the NAVSTA Newport Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) gathered at the Officers’ Club for its monthly meeting. The meeting began at 7:05 p.m. and ended at 9:15 p.m.

In attendance were John Vitkevich, Kathy Abbass, Mary Blake, Claudette Weissinger, Manuel Marques, Edward Moitoza, Howard Porter, David Brown, Thomas McGrath, Emmet E. Turley, James Myers, Thurston Gray, Greg Kohlweiss (NAVSTA), David D. Dorocz (NAVSTA), Melissa Griffin (NAVSTA), Kathy Marley (NAVSTA), James Shafer (EFANE), Paul Kulpa (RIDEM), Jennifer Stump (Gannet Fleming), Stephen Parker (TtNUS).

John Vitkevich opened the meeting and welcomed the group. David Dorocz informed the RAB that John Lennon would not be present at the meeting. Kymberlee Keckler and Susan Hester would also not be present. Theresa Ryan was then introduced as a support member for the RAB meeting.


John Vitkevich asked for a motion to accept the June minutes. The minutes were approved and then seconded with the addition of James Myers to the meetings attendance list.


RAB Internal Discussion on OFFTA Remedial Alternatives –David Brown

Enclosure (1) was prepared by community members and distributed for discussion to help the Navy, EPA, and RIDEM anticipate the community members’ concerns, questions and preferences when considering the clean up alternatives. Questions on the second page of the handout were then discussed. The two best options for the soil (Alternative 2 and Alternative 3) and sediment (Alternative 2 and Alternative 3) were addressed and then further evaluated by the group.

John Vitkevich emphasized the wisdom in performing the onshore cleanup first and then monitoring the offshore areas to ensure the sewer outfalls and parking lot run off are not the source of the offshore contaminants.

The topic of the offshore sediment alternative was discussed. Manuel Marques and Thomas McGrath stated that they would like to see the eelgrass left alone and monitored. Furthermore, access to the shoreline should be restricted to prevent human exposures while monitoring of the area continues.

David Dorocz stated that access to the offshore area will continue to be restricted by the Navy, and there is no current plan to reopen Katy Field as a park.

Paul Kulpa stated that RIDEM agrees with the EPA’s preferred clean up alternative for the onshore area, and added Alternative 3 would also be acceptable. David Brown and Edward Moitoza stated the committee should agree with the Navy’s preferred alternative for the soil.

David Brown opened the meeting for further input by the group on the proposed clean up alternatives. Kathy Abbass expressed the need for further discussion on the order in which the clean up process was to be performed.

Jim Shafer discussed the Navy’s preferred alternative, for the ground water at the location. The soil clean up and microbial action may solve the groundwater contamination problems. It is important to look at any outside contributing sources, to collect more information on where the contamination is coming from. Remediating the contributing sources should prevent any further degredation of the natural habitats and may improve the current condition of the sediments and groundwater.

Jennifer Stump of Gannett Fleming, Inc. discussed the ecological risks and ecological receptors at the site.

John Vitkevich stated that the onshore soil remedy should be performed prior to considering the sediment clean up option. A vote was taken and the committee agreed with all three of the Navy’s preferred alternatives.

The Navy will issue a draft Proposed Plan for review by the EPA and State, in September 02. The general public will be invited to provide their comments and attend an open house after finalization of the Proposed Plan.

NAVSTA Golf Course Project – David Dorocz

David Dorocz began his presentation. At the previous meeting, the Navy formally announced its plans and offered to brief the RAB. The purpose of today’s presentation is to provide the membership with an overview of the Navy’s plans to build a golf course at NAVSTA Newport.

The Morale Welfare and Recreation (MWR) Department is developing the project. The proposed location for the golf course is the Tank Farms and Carr Point, as noted in Enclosure (2). The golf course is intended for use by military and DoD Civilian employees only. The design shall include walking trails outside of the course for use by the public, wildlife corridors and an integrated pest management plan. The golf course is estimated to cost 12 million dollars. The money the Navy generates through the operation of such facilities will be used to pay for the golf course - not tax dollars. Enclosure (2) shows a conceptual layout of the proposed golf course.

Construction would start in the spring of 2005 and would take approximately 6-12 months to complete. Kathy Abbass asked if the local contractors would be used and John Vitkevich stated that the idea is to keep the funds within Aquidneck Island and not go national with the contracting. David Dorocz replied, "the Navy would procure the service of a design-build contactor by competitive bid as required by federal acquisition regulations." Local firms are eligible to bid and, irregardless of the selection of a national or local firm, they are usually involved in a project as sub-contractors.

Enclosure (2) provides the clean up strategy for Tank Farms 2, 3 and 4, with a proposed clean up schedule following. The Navy hopes to clean up the Tank Farms under the State’s Tank Program. For the lack of a more appropriate program at that time, the Tank Farms were included in the IR Program due to past practices of burying oil sludge on site. However, oil contamination is not regulated by CERCLA and is best addressed under the state’s programs that are now in place. See Enclosure (3) for detailed information on this decision. Jim Shafer added that the CERCLA process is a much longer process.

The environmental impacts of the proposal will be evaluated in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Please see Enclosure (2) for a description of the NEPA process and the proposed NEPA Schedule.


There was no new business to report.


Project Committee

Enclosure (4) is a handout distributed by Emmet E. Turley for the RAB members to review. The enclosure describes an informative article based on New Jersey’s beaches and shifting sands. We can learn from their experience as described in the handout.

Membership Committee

Thurston Gray discussed the ad for the recruitment of more members to the RAB meetings. As requested, the point of contact should be listed as Thurston Gray to include his telephone number and E-mail address. Information on this ad could also be listed on the web site.

Public Information Committee

David Brown announced the council is pleased with the website idea for access of pertinent information regarding the RAB.

Planning Committee

Thomas McGrath stated the committee would like to tour the Gas Facility, OFFTA, and Tank Farms. The tour is scheduled for next month at 6:00.

Education Committee

Kathy Abbass requested a copy of the acronyms dictionary provided at a past RAB meeting. She also requested that a new graphic illustration of the CERCLA process be electronically designed and distributed to the RAB members. The graphic can be added to the RAB website at a later date.


The next meeting of the Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) will be a tour of the LNG Facility, OFFTA and the Tank Farms. The tour is scheduled for Wednesday, August 21, 2002 at 6:00 p.m., leaving from the Officers’ Club. Greg Kohlweiss stated he would be forwarding a list of RAB membership to the Security Department at Naval Station Newport, prior to the meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 p.m.

(1) Handout of OFFTA Clean Up Options (191 KB)
(2) Slides from NAVSTA Golf Course Project (1178 KB)
(3) Copy of Letter re: Tank Farms, Naval Station Newport, RI (177 KB)
(4) July Project Committee Report (312 KB)