2002 CPEO Military List Archive

From: borderlands@igc.org
Date: 30 Dec 2002 04:18:03 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: RE: [CPEO-MEF] EPA Public Participation? Give me a break! (issue 670)
Re Ted Henry's post about public participation at a Naval Academy region
site (Navy heads cleanup of point across from academy).  The article goes,
"> With regard to the Public Comment Period, the Navy Remedial Project
> Manager for the cleanup was quoted as follows:
> "It's not a comment period to help us decide what the remediation
> process is, It's something we're required to do to let the public know
> what's going on."
> If quoted correctly, it is very clear that the Navy's Ms. Melton is in
> need of education regarding what public participation is suppose to be
> and what the laws are suppose to provide.
> On a simple outreach level, it appears she is confusing the
> spirit/concept of "Notice" and "Comment Period"."

In our experience in Tucson, at the huge TCE-laden CERCLA NPL site left us
by aircraft manufacturers and Hughes Aircraft Co, the above attitude is very
much indeed the spirit of public participation by the EPA.  In fact, my
experience (as a graduate student/scholar) of the 'public participation was
such a negative one that I wrote the Regional Superfund Administrator of EPA
and told him, after citing incidents, that I though the EPA was more toxic
to our community than was the site itself.  I received no response, of

I have never seen a Project Manager, or a Remedial Investigation, bend to
the local population's stated desires.  It may have happened somewhere, but
based on our Tucson experience public participation is indeed only a legally
required part of the process.  Comments are brushed off.  The Feasibility
Study and Remedial Investigation circumscribe what the EPA intends to do,
and what they will do.

Jake Elkins
A member of Sustainable Borderlands Planning, Inc
an Arizona non-profit corporation since 1995
1309 E. Lee St,  Tucson, AZ  85719
520-327-4058     borderlands@igc.org
                     Speak the truth, and ride a fast horse.
                                              ~Old Cowboy Saying

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