FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 13, 2012
Restoration Advisory Board to Hold Meeting July 18
Representatives from Naval Air Station Key West will meet with community members Wednesday night to discuss sites on the air station and former Navy properties in the Lower Keys that require environmental cleanup or monitoring.
The annual Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) meeting takes place at the DoubleTree Grand Key Resort at 7 p.m. and is open to the public.
The air station’s RAB mission is to establish a forum with the community, regulators and NAS Key West for the input and exchange of information in an open and interactive dialogue concerning the installation’s environmental program.
"The Navy has a long history in Key West and past chemical handling and disposal practices were much less stringent than today, so there are areas on NAS Key West and our former properties that require environmental cleanup action under the Navy’s Environmental Restoration Program," said NAS Key West Commanding Officer Capt. Patrick Lefere. "The purpose of the program is to reduce risk to human health and the environment from any contamination remaining on Navy property from historical activities."
During the meeting the RAB plans to review the technical aspects of remedial systems in place, data generated since the previous meeting and remedial actions on land transferred from the Navy. The public meeting will also allow the community to ask questions.
"It's our opportunity to say what we are doing at each site," said Ed Barham, environmental director for NAS Key West. "We've been holding this meeting every year since 1995. This is an opportunity for the public to ask questions about the status of the environmental restoration sites on the station."
Barham said there are 19 environmental restoration sites, with 11 of the sites in the Boca Chica area and the rest at NAS Key West annexes.
"We also monitor Base Realignment and Closure sites," Barham said. "The BRAC sites are areas that once were Navy property, but given to the city of Key West as part of the BRAC process."
Copies of all the official Environmental Restoration Program documents are available at the Monroe County Library at Fleming and Elizabeth Streets in Key West. They are located in the local and state historical department there.
The meeting will be open to the public and free parking will be available. For additional information regarding the 2012 RAB meeting contact the NAS Key West Public Affairs at (305) 293-2027.