2000 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: Wed, 7 Jun 2000 17:53:02 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Kelly Air Force Base and the NPL
Activists who live near Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas are
trying to figure out why the huge, contaminated installation is not on
the "Superfund" National Priorities List (NPL), but they aren't getting
much help from U.S. EPA, Region 6.

Armando Quintanilla submitted a Freedom of Information Act request this
year, seeking Hazard Ranking Score documents from EPA. EPA identified
the documents, but it said that they are "exempt from mandatory
disclosure in accordance with 5 U.S.C. [Section] 552(b)(5)&(7)." I don't
know that provision of law, but I can't think of a good practical reason
why EPA should keep such information from the impacted community.

Furthermore, EPA Assistant Regional Administrator  Lynda Carroll wrote
Quintanilla, "It is EPA's policy to address Federal facilities such as
Kelly Air Force Base under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
(RCRA) rather than Superfund.... The Region's decision not to propose
this site to the NPL now or in the future, regardless of its Hazard
Ranking Score, is consistent with CERCLA [the Superfund law] and allows
EPA to address other Superfund sites where no other mechanism is

Carroll enclosed a copy of EPA's national "RCRA/NPL Deferral Policy,"
but she did not explain how the handling of Kelly Air Force Base met the
terms of the policy. The Deferral policy clearly states, "Where there is
uncertainty whether the criteria [for deferral] have been met, deferral
will be inappropriate." One of the three criteria is: "The state and
community support deferral of NPL listing."

Quintanilla is unaware of any EPA efforts to seek community input on its
decision not to place Kelly on the National Priorities List.

I fear that this is a pattern. At federal facilities where cleanup is
proceeding under RCRA Corrective Action authorities, EPA just seems to
assume that the community accepts that approach.


Lenny Siegel
Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
c/o PSC, 222B View St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/968-1126

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