|From:||CPEO Moderator <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
|Date:||Fri, 6 Oct 2000 10:48:22 -0700 (PDT)|
|Subject:||[CPEO-MEF] McClellan AFB RAB Adjournment|
Saturday, September 27, 2000
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
REPORT: MCCLELLAN CLEANUP ADVISORY BOARD ADJOURNMENT VIOLATES DEFENSE DEPARTMENT POLICY
Recommends Litigation With Air Force Over Illegal Removal Of RAB Members
For More Information Contact: Saul Bloom, Arc Ecology 415-495-1786, Del Calaway, McClellan AFB Restoration Advisory Board Community Co-Chair (illegally removed) 916-641-1776
An exhaustive three-month review of the adjournment of the McClellan Air Force Base Restoration Advisory Board (RAB), the citizen-based committee advising the Air Force on the cleanup of the former military base and Superfund site, blasts the Air Force for gross violations of Defense Department guidance, and recommends that litigation be brought to reverse the action.
The action taken by the Air Force is illegal, a violation of RAB guidance, and apparently done for the express purpose of denying the opportunity to current RAB community members to review upcoming regulatory documents and cleanup plans for the facility as a RAB. Based on information provided to Arc Ecology by the RAB, the Air Force, the EPA, and the California Department of Toxics Substances Control, we are forced to conclude that the local base command is in the process of jury shopping to reconfigure the RAB in such a way as to provide a rubber stamp for its cleanup decisions. We are further forced to conclude that gross incompetence on the part of the public participation specialists from the Air Force, the Air Forces contractors, the United States Environmental Protection Agency Region 9 and California Department of Toxic Substances Control are at least partially responsible for the breakdown in communications and the current situation.
Report on the Illegal Adjournment of the McClellan RAB, Arc Ecology September 2000
The report, being released today, was compiled by Arc Ecology, the Secretariat for the National Caucus of Restoration Advisory Board Community Members, a network of RAB community members from 30 States. It recommends that the Caucus join the RAB members in litigation to reverse the decision. The Caucus has already joined community members suing the Army over the illegal shut down of the Fort Ord RAB.
The report lists seven major, and an additional fifteen supplemental findings. The following is the list of the major findings presented in the report:
FINDING 1: The action taken by the Air Force was a violation of RAB adjournment guidance and therefore illegal and should be overturned.
FINDING 2: The statement by General Wiedemer (2/28/2000) that the RAB was not in compliance with DoD RAB requirements is false.
FINDING 3: The Air Forces statement that it dissolved the RAB to ensure its diversity is misleading.
FINDING 4: The Air Forces proposed changes to the RAB Charter were excessive, contrary to guidance, and were properly rejected by members of the RAB.
FINDING 5: The Air Forces claim that RAB members were uncooperative in attempting to resolve the problems discussed in the letter by Colonel Cotter cited above is not supported by RAB correspondence with the installation command during the period in question.
FINDING 6: There was an extreme lack of competence on the part of the Air Force and regulatory staff regarding public participation.
FINDING 7: While Arc Ecology makes no allegation of wrongdoing, there appears to be sufficient cause to warrant a closer look at the appropriateness of the use of funds and contracts by McClellan Air Force Bases environmental management personnel.
We are forwarding the report to the Secretary of the Air Force, the Regional Administrator of the USEPA, the Director of the California Department of Toxics Substance Control along with other relevant officials, said Saul Bloom of Arc Ecology. It is our hope that once confronted with the report, the Air Force and regulators will rethink the adjournment of the RAB.
The Air Force claims that they shut down our RAB to make it work better, said Del Calaway, the Community Co-Chair of the illegally adjourned RAB. Apparently making the process work better from the Air Forces point of view means holding public meetings where armed security guards are there to keep the peace, where the public documents repositories in Rio Linda and North Highlands are a shambles, and where their public meetings consist of reports from contractors and nodding heads from a cowed, unquestioning and compliant community.
All of our RAB Community Members live within five miles of McClellan, some are current and former employees, said Chuck Yarbrough, the RAB Community Co-Chair prior to Mr. Calaway. Our RAB Community Members are fighting to keep their place at the table because they have been and continue to be on the front lines of the Air Forces environmental problems for years. They have a personal and material interest in the outcome of this cleanup.
This report shows that the Air Force doesnt have the right to throw us out like theyve done to the local environment, said Sheila Guera, a Community Member of the illegally adjourned RAB. They dont have the right to replace us with people with a vested interest in exploiting the base commercially without regard for the surrounding community.
Attachment Converted: "c:\eudora\attach\McClellan Final Report.doc"
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