November 20, 2002

On Wednesday, November 20, 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 8:45 p.m.

In attendance were John Vitkevich, Kathy Abbass, Thomas McGrath, Edward Moitoza, Susan Hester, Howard Porter, Mary Blake, Emmet Turley, James Myers, Manuel Marques, Thurston Gray, Thomas Reardon, Elizabeth Dees, Nathayn Jolin, Claudette Weissinger, David D. Dorocz (NAVSTA), Melissa Griffin (NAVSTA), Kathy Marley (NAVSTA), Theresa Ryan (NAVSTA), LT Kurt Phoel (NAVSTA), Gregg Kolhweiss (NAVSTA), Franco LaGreca (EFANE), Stephen Parker (Tetra Tech), James Shafer (EFANE), Paul Kulpa (RIDEM), Kymberlee Keckler (USEPA)

David Dorocz opened the meeting and welcomed the group. He announced that Dr. David Brown would not be in attendance for the meeting.

David Dorocz then briefed the Restoration Advisory Board on the evening's agenda. Copies of the RIDEM letter dated October 8, 2002; Subject Tank Farms 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 were provided to the RAB and are included as enclosure (1). The November 6, 2002, EPA letter addressing the Tank Farms 1 through 5 was also provided and is included as enclosure (2). Jim Shafer of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Installation Restoration Program stated the Navy will be responding to the correspondence.


The following changes are made to the October minutes, as requested in recent correspondence. The changes requested are as follows:

On page 2, paragraphs 2 and 3, the notes talk about the temporary parking lot being adjacent to OFFTA. In response to this, David Dorocz clarified for the group that the parking lot is located on a portion of OFFTA and a schematic was provided to the group to help in the clarification (enclosure (3)).

On pages 2 and 3, under the Public Information Committee report three additional items were discussed that were not reflected in the meeting minutes. The items are as follows:

1.) As discussed, interested members were to provide Melissa Griffin with constructive suggestions about the Presentation Style of the draft Proposed Plan for OFFTA prior to or during the November RAB.

2.) As addressed during the meeting the possibility of an interactive link within the RAB web site will not be possible. The link was considered for those citizens who are not able to be present at public meetings.

3.) A discussion regarding the possibility of video taping public meetings and making copies available in the public libraries is something to be considered in the future.

John Vitkevich asked for a motion to accept the previous meeting minutes for October with the above changes. The minutes were approved and then seconded by the group.


Mr. Jim Shafer gave a presentation on the present and upcoming Navy budget. Enclosure (4) is the Navy Execution Plan for Fiscal Year FY 03. The enclosure also shows the projects that were paid for with unused (unspent) FY02 funds before the funding expired on September 30, 2002.

Jim Shafer introduced two of his coworkers from Engineering Field Activities North East that were present at the RAB meeting. Franco LaGreca and David Barcliff from the EFA North East.

Dr. Kathy Abbass addressed the past cost savings for the McAllister Offshore project. She asked if the new additional funding reflected on the budget came from those cost savings. Jim Shafer stated that the cost savings were utilized for another major cleanup project within the Navy's Region I.

Kathy Abbass also asked Mr. Shafer if he has plans for retirement in the near future. Jim Shafer replied that he hopes to retire possibly in March of 2003 but plans to attend the upcoming January and February RAB meetings.

Jim then announced Thurston Gray and David Brown forwarded their input on the OFFTA Proposed Remedial Action Plan (PRAP) presentation style and format. Mr. Shafer thanked them for their responses, and plans to formally address their comments and suggestions.


Steve Parker began with review of the OFFTA cleanup project with discussion on the Predesign Investigations. The final Feasibility Study (FS) for OFFTA has been submitted and a formal response to comment letters from RIDEM and the EPA is currently being prepared.

A copy of the OFFTA brief and slide presentation is provided as enclosure (5). The first page of the enclosure shows a schematic of the OFFTA during the cleanup process. The draft Proposed Plan has been submitted and the dashed line represents possible changes to the 2003 remediation process. The Navy's preferred remedial action plan is designed to monitor the sediment at the OFFTA and to further evaluate and determine any changes to the remedy selection for this site.

In July of 2002 a second phase of predesign investigations for the OFFTA was performed. Since the offshore sediment was of concern, additional sampling was conducted. Enclosure (6) is in color and shows a map of the predesign sample stations. As noted in the enclosure, the Phase 2 sampling station sites are circled in red.

Steve Parker stated that one specific area of concern was the eelgrass. It is thought that this area should not be excavated. The Phase 2 site sampling was also conducted to obtain a better understanding of the chemistry of the sediment within the eelgrass.
The other area of concern was the area near the two outfall discharge pipes. These areas had the highest concentration of contaminants present in the sediment. Here, samples were taken of the marine sediment (see enclosure (6)), as well as from the storm drains.

Kymberlee Keckler asked for clarification on how far from the outfall the Phase 2 sediment samples were taken. Steve referenced the schematics and pointed out that a sample was taken approximately 20 feet from the outfall and a sample was taken approximately 100 feet from the outfall.

Steve Parker spoke further with regard to the monitoring and site sampling. He stated that while looking at the sediments near the outfall pipes it appears that the hot areas seem to be moving around. He further stated, that when looking at the Phase 2 data, the eelgrass did not have contaminated areas above the health risk.

Dr. Kathy Abbass stated that this past summer was very dry and there has not been as much parking lot runoff as in the previous year. Jim Shafer and Steve Parker agreed that this should be taken into consideration when looking at the data.
Enclosure (7) contains individual handouts showing the sediment forensic analysis performed at the OFFTA. The enclosure is a more detailed analysis of the different chemical contaminants in the samples collected from the sampling sites. The forensic sample sites are numbered and correspond to the sampling sites of enclosure (6).
In the individual forensic samples of enclosure (7) each line represents a chemical contaminant (or added material) within the sample. Looking at the chemistry analysis of the data it was found that there is a heavy concentration of hydrocarbons and the data shows the contamination is decreasing overtime.

The similarities and differences in each sample were looked at to see the patterns between the sediment samples and the urban runoff samples (see enclosure (5) page 7, and enclosure (6)). According to the data it was found that the parking lot drains, which are up-gradient from the site, contain the same PAHs as the marine sediment. Steve further emphasized that this was an important finding.
Enclosures (8) and (9) are provided as color conceptual site models for the surface runoff and the ecological risk assessment findings. The data here supports the idea that things are moving around.

Jim Shafer explained to the RAB that there is a planned meeting with the state and EPA to further evaluate the OFFTA. The PRAP will then be finalized and the draft ROD will be completed in accordance with the Navy budget plan in FY03. Mr. Parker stated that monitoring of the site will continue and the Naval Research Lab will be taking more PAH samples.

Jim Shafer further explained to the RAB that there is a current nationwide study being performed where different estuaries are being studied. The OFFTA was included as part of the study. This data is currently being analyzed and there was no cost to the Navy for being a part of the study. After interpreting the data with the regulators, the Navy hopes to share the outcome of the study with the RAB.

Dr. Abbass commented that it seems from the presentation that the source of the greatest amount of pollution from OFFTA is not the historical OFFTA activities but rather the large drainage area that feeds into the outfalls. She inquired how this would affect the cleanup of the site under superfund if it is found that the OFFTA is not considered the current contributing PAH source. Steve Parker explained to the RAB he feels the OFFTA will still be cleaned up as a superfund site due to soil and groundwater contamination.

Kathy Abbass asked Mr. Parker how close the nearest sewage outfall was to the marine sediment sample station off the shore of Jamestown, sample JPC03 (see enclosure (7)). Steve stated he would be glad to show Dr. Abbass where the sample station is and added the sample site was chosen since the Jamestown shoreline area has a similar discharge area to the Newport shoreline.

Jim Shafer told the committee members that the Navy feels the collection of more data will help in the remedy selection process for the beach and offshore sediment. Since PAHs are generally part of urbanization there is a project to make improvements to one primary storm line (see enclosure (8)). The project will add a vortex system to help reduce the amount of PAHs released to the environment. He added that the Naval Research Lab has sampled the area in July of 2002 and October 2002, and will sample again in the spring of 2003.


Education Committee - Kathy Abbass

No report by Committee Chair.

Planning Committee - Thomas McGrath and Ed Moitoza

The committee members expressed the thought of having a planning session in January, to discuss the RAB schedule in calendar year 2003.

Public Information Committee - David Brown

Dr. David Brown forwarded his input for inclusion in the evening's Public Information Committee Report as he was unable to attend the meeting. Dr. Brown urged the RAB members to provide the Navy IR Program Manager, Melissa Griffin, with constructive suggestions on the draft Proposed Plan for OFFTA.

John Vitkevich spoke on Dave Brown's behalf. He supports the idea of having a planning session to define how to make the RAB more efficient next year. John Vitkevich said the members would like to have the planning session as part of the next RAB meeting in January.

The committee members discussed an open house public hearing. Jim Shafer suggested having the hearing for the OFFTA in early winter to discuss the ROD and PRAP.

Membership Committee - Thurston Gray

Mr. Gray stated there was a total of 14 community members present at the meeting with 1 community member excused from the meeting.

There are presently a total of 20 RAB community members, with the addition of Mr. Reardon and Mr. Fowler. Mr. Gray welcomed the two new members.

Kymberlee Keckler inquired about the balance of community members from each community. John Vitkevich suggested new members be recruited to increase to the number from Newport.

David Dorocz provided the Committee Chairs with two articles, previously published in local community newspapers. The purpose of the past newspaper articles was to recruit new RAB members. The articles may be used as an example to develop a new ad.

Project Committee - Emmet Turley

Mr. Turley discussed what is on the citizens' minds in Jamestown. Areas around the Jamestown shoreline are becoming quite shallow, but funding for a dredging project is a problem. A dredging project is usually performed in coordination with the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE). A second problem is finding a place to dispose of the dredge material. Mr. Turley provided the RAB with enclosure (10), a memorandum and ACOE article titled "The Providence River Dredging Plan". David Dorocz stated that the State of Rhode Island recently created a Task Force to review dredged material disposal areas.


Melissa Griffin announced there will be no meeting in the month of December 2002.

Additionally, the Officers' Club will be undergoing renovations during the months of December, January and February 2003. The RAB meeting will be temporarily held at the Newport Hyatt on Goat Island. As a reminder to all members a special notice will be sent out the first week in January 2003, regarding this temporary change.


The next meeting of the Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) will be on January 15, 2003, at 7:00 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Newport. As requested by the RAB Committees, the meeting will include a planning session to discuss the schedule for calendar year 2003.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:45 p.m.

(1) RIDEM Tank Farm 1 thru 5 letter dated October 8, 2002 (100 KB)
(2) EPA Tank Farm 1 thru 5 letter dated November 6, 2002 (93 KB)
(3) OFFTA Temporary Parking Lot Drawing (71 KB)
(4) Navy Budget Plan FY03 and FY02 (29 KB)
(5) Phase 2 Predesign Investigations Presentation Slides (860 KB)
(6) Color Copy of the Predesign Sampling Stations Map (186 KB)
(7) Sediment Sampling Forensic Analysis Handout (256 KB)
(8) Conceptual Site Model for Surface Runoff (258 KB)
(9) Ecological Risk Assessment Findings (207 KB)
(10) Project Committee memo dated November 20, 2002 and Report on the Providence River Dredging Plan (456 KB)