Representatives from Naval Air Station Key West will meet with community members Wednesday, July 30, 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 in the meeting room of the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center at 35 East Quay Road, Key West, at 6 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 there are areas on NAS Key West and our former properties that require environmental cleanup,” said NAS Key West Commanding Officer Capt. Steve McAlearney. “We are accomplishing that under the Navy’s Environmental Restoration Program. The RAB is a local board designed to provide a forum for two-way communication between the community and the Navy about work and plans at our cleanup sites.”
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.
“This is the base’s opportunity to tell the public exactly what we are doing at each site,” said Ed Barham, environmental director for NAS Key West. “At this meeting we’ll be unveiling our Environmental Restoration public website, where you’ll be able to review historic documents and find out the status of our restoration sites.”
Barham said there are a number of environmental restoration sites across NAS Key West, including its annexes. The sites range from old landfills and fuel sites to former small arms and rifle ranges.
“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. The Navy’s BRAC program manager will provide an update on the BRAC sites within the proposed Truman Waterfront Park.”
Copies of 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 is available. For additional information regarding the 2014 RAB meeting contact the NAS Key West Public Affairs at (305) 293-2027.