The goal of community outreach is to advocate for and strengthen early and meaningful community participation in the Navy’s Environmental Restoration Program (ERP). The overarching objective of the Navy’s ERP is to protect human health and the environment from past hazardous waste practices and releases at Navy and Marine Corps Installation Restoration (IR) sites. The Navy is committed to involving the public during the site investigation and cleanup process at Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) China Lake by both formal and informal means of communications. The health and safety both on base and in our communities is a top Navy priority.
In addition, federal and state laws and regulations require community involvement during site investigation and cleanup activities conducted under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). This ensures that the public is informed and involved early, that public concerns are heard, and their comments are considered in making final decisions on managing cleanup activities. The Navy encourages meaningful and productive participation by everyone in the community.
The Navy, in conjunction with State of California regulatory agencies, are responsible for oversight of the Navy’s ERP. The Navy, in conjunction with State of California regulatory agencies, are responsible for oversight of the Navy’s ERP. The Navy published a final Community Involvement Plan (CIP) in February 2021. The CIP provides an opportunity for community outreach activities at NAWS China Lake, addressing both community concerns and expectations. Community involvement described in the CIP provides opportunities for active public involvement, strives to meet the community’s needs for information, seeks community input concerning environmental cleanup decisions, and provides mechanisms for feedback to the public on how the Navy is incorporating the community’s concerns into the ERP at NAWS China Lake. The 2021 CIP will be available through the Administrative Records tab on this website.
Community outreach activities include conducting community meetings; publishing fact sheets, newsletters, and public notices; and contacting the community through website postings and by electronic mail. Some documents produced in the course of Navy site investigation and cleanup activities have a required formal review period during which the public can provide comments and input, while other documents are not subject to the same public review and comment requirement. The Navy provides opportunities for public review of these documents in community forums such as Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) meetings and upon request.
Restoration Advisory Board
The Navy formed a Technical Review Committee (TRC) at NAWS China Lake in 1989 for the purpose of ensuring a continuing dialogue among members of the community, DoD, and regulatory agencies on issues concerning environmental remediation. The first meeting was scheduled in September 1991. The TRC was converted into a RAB, and the Navy solicited participation from the community in 1994. The NAWS China Lake RAB held its first meeting on June 6, 1995.
The Navy works with the community primarily through the RAB on environmental restoration activities. The NAWS China Lake RAB consists of members from (1) the public and local community, (2) NAWS China Lake, (3) Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Southwest, and (4) the regulatory and cooperating agencies. These include the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, Indian Wells Valley Water District, Kern County Environmental Health Services Department, and California Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board. The RAB advises the Navy on a variety of IR topics such as the scope of studies, cleanup methods, proposed project requirements, and prioritization of remediation activities, and also reviews plans and reports.
The co-chairs of the RAB are the NAWS China Lake Commanding Officer and a community member, with support from Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Southwest. Meeting minutes and administrative coordination are provided by the NAWS China Lake Public Affairs Office and the NAWS China Lake Environmental Management Division. The RAB serves to provide the Navy with advice and information on community concerns so that informed decisions can be made regarding remediation activities. The RAB meets regularly, currently every other month, with the Navy and regulatory agencies.
RAB Point of Contact:
Navy RAB Co-Chair
Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Southwest
Phone: (760) 939-3222
Information Repository and Administrative Record
Information repositories have been established to provide public access to technical reports and other information about the investigation and cleanup of sites at NAWS China Lake. A collection of environmental restoration documents is available through the Administrative Records tab on this website.
CLICK HERE to access the online Administrative Record files for NAWS China Lake.
Correspondence, reports, minutes, fact sheets, public notices, and other records are available for public review at the following location:
Kern County Library – Ridgecrest Branch
131 E Las Flores Ave
Ridgecrest, CA 93555
Public Affairs Office
The mission of the Public Affairs Office is to enhance the public image of NAWS China Lake, manage the command's community relations program, and serve as the point of contact for all media and public inquiries.
The Public Affairs Office provides information and press releases to newspapers, TV, radio stations, and civic organizations, and schedules and conducts interviews and news conferences.
The Public Affairs Office contact is:
Hannah Moore, Public Affairs Officer
Naval Air Weapons Station, China Lake
Phone: (760) 939-1683