Environmental

Agency Roles

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Agency Roles


The primary governmental entities involved in the cleanup of past contamination at the former Navy facilities on Vieques Island are: the U.S. Environmental protection Agency (EPA), the Navy, the Puerto Rico Department of Environmental Quality (EQB), the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI). These agencies are signatories of the Federal Facility Agreement that sets procedures and schedules for the “Superfund” cleanup.

EPA and EQB are the government agencies with an oversight role in the cleanup process:
EPA Logo EPA’s mission is to protect human health and safeguard the environment. EPA is the federal agency responsible for providing guidance on hazardous waste site operation issues and of investigation and cleanup activities at National Priorities List (NPL or Superfund) sites. EPA Region 2, based in New York City, is responsible for oversight of cleanup on Vieques and other current or past U.S. federal facilities in the Caribbean region.

Puerto Rico EQB Logo

EQB’s Superfund Section evaluates uncontrolled hazardous waste sites within Puerto Rico and partners with DoD and EPA to address cleanup goals, maximize stakeholder involvement, and improve the decision-making process to accomplish environmental restoration at DoD installations.
The Navy is the responsible party and the party accountable for the environmental restoration of the areas affected by military activities.

NAVFAC Logo

Within the Department of the Navy, the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) is responsible for the IR program and coordinates all investigation and cleanup actions. NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic Division (NAVFAC Midlant), based in Norfolk, Virginia, executes the cleanup program for Vieques at the field level, through the Remedial Project Manager (RPM). The RPM’s responsibilities include identifying resources needed to effectively implement the remedial action process. The RPM coordinates the work of Navy technical support agencies and contractors to accomplish IR program goals and policies. The RPM is involved in all aspects of the project, including interagency relationships, funding, scheduling, design, and remedial action.
Several government agencies currently administer the public lands that were formerly used by the Navy:

USFWS Logo

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), which is a part of the U.S. Department of the Interior, administers the Vieques National Wildlife Refuge on eastern and western Vieques.

Municipality of Vieques Logo

The Municipality of Vieques and Puerto Rico Conservation Trust each administer a portion of western Vieques. The Puerto Rico Conservation Trust is a private, non-profit institution dedicated to protecting and enhancing Puerto Rico’s natural resources through the acquisition of land of ecological, aesthetic, historic, and cultural value. 

There are 14 environmental sites on the land now administered by the Municipality of Vieques. There are no sites on lands administered by the Puerto Rico Conservation Trust.

 

DNER Logo In addition, the Puerto Rico Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (DNER), or in Spanish, Departamento de Recursos Naturales y Ambientales (DRNA), works with USFWS to make sure that wildlife and other natural resources are protected while cleanup activities progress. DNER is the lead stewardship agency for the preservation and protection of Puerto Rico’s environment and natural resources.
 

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