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 former Naval Command, Control, and Ocean Surveillance Center (NCCOSC) Morris Dam, 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 developed a Community Relations Plan (CRP) in 2008. The CRP provides an opportunity for community outreach activities at former NCCOSC Morris Dam, addressing both community concerns and expectations. Community involvement described in the CRP 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 NCCOSC Morris Dam. The 2008 CRP is available in the former NCCOSC Morris Dam Administrative Record for the Navy’s ERP, accessible 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 NCCOSC Morris Dam RAB is a vital link between the community, the Navy, and the regulatory agencies. Part of the Navy and regulatory agency decision-making process is to consider comments from the public and respond to them. The RAB discusses and provides comments on IR site CERCLA documents across all NCCOSC Morris Dam facilities.
The goal of a RAB is to encourage regular, two-way communication during the environmental restoration process by:
Making information about the investigation and cleanup actions available to members of the public and answering any questions they may have concerning IR projects.
Gaining effective input from stakeholders on cleanup activities.
Increasing the installation’s responsiveness to the community’s environmental restoration concerns.
The RAB is an important part of the community involvement program. A successful RAB partnership can prevent delays and contribute to better decisions about environmental cleanup projects.
RAB meetings are conducted by the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest Environmental Restoration and community representative co-chairs and are attended by Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest Environmental Restoration staff; NCCOSC Morris Dam Environmental Support staff; California Environmental Protection Agency, California Department of Toxic Substances Control and Regional Water Quality Control Board representatives; and community volunteers.
Electronic Notification: Email and Mailing List
The results of interviews conducted with the public in 2008 indicated that electronic notification is a preferred method for disseminating information.
The Navy has created an email database from interviewees who expressed an interest in learning more about the environmental cleanup program at Morris Dam and agreed to being added to the mailing list. Email recipients may pass along the information to other possible interested parties in order to generate awareness and involvement. Emails provide points of contact so that email recipients may request that their names be added to (or deleted from) the contacts list.
The results of the 2008 interviews indicated that the community wants to be sent emails as information updates become available. It was recommended that information distribution be presented in a simple format that is understandable to the average person without a technical background.
The mailing list of interested parties in the surrounding community is maintained and updated periodically by the installation’s Environmental Support office. Those on the list receive fact sheets, news releases, meeting notices, meeting minutes, and other important information. Members of the public can request to be added to the mailing list by either attending the RAB or contacting:
EV Core, Floor 11
750 Pacific Highway
San Diego, California 92132-5190
Information repositories have been established to provide public access to technical reports and other information about the investigation and cleanup of sites at former NCCOSC Morris Dam. A collection of environmental restoration documents is available online in the Administrative Record.
Public Notices and Meetings
The Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest Environmental Restoration Program holds additional public meetings about project events of significance that cannot be accommodated by the regular RAB meeting schedule, providing the public with current information about investigations, remedial actions, or removal action decisions, and responding to specific community concerns, issues, or events. Formal public hearings are also held in conjunction with public comment periods for major technical milestones, such as the proposed remedial action plans required for removal and remedial actions. These meetings will be announced in fact sheets, public notices in local newspapers, and by communications sent to community mailing list members.
Notices of public meetings will be placed in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune on the Sunday preceding each public meeting. Because the newspaper cannot guarantee the exact placement of each notice, the location varies, although the public notices, printed as display ads, are generally published in the “government” section of the paper.
It is recommended that public notices are placed in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune because the results of the interviews indicate this is the most widely read local newspaper. Every effort will be made to assure that the notices receive the most visible placement in the paper.
In addition, interviewees suggest using other local information resources as a means of publicizing public meetings and IR Program-related events. It is recommended that contacts be made with representatives from City of Azusa Light and Water newsletter, “The Azusan” Chamber of Commerce newsletter, and Friends of the Library newsletter.