Veterans Staff Advisory Committee Update:
The Veterans Staff Advisory Committee continues to work to find ways to assist the Veterans Community in Monmouth County. The Committee is exploring the possibility of creating a project on the former Fort Monmouth property to assist Veterans. The Committee has met with Solider On, a non-profit organization whose mission is to house and aid homeless Veterans, to learn about their successful efforts. A project to aid homeless veterans is of great interest to the Veterans Staff Advisory Committee and the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) staff. As with all projects that FMERA would undertake and, in accordance with the Authority’s regulations, all parcels of land must be conveyed through a competitive Request for Proposals (RFP) procedure to ensure a fair and equitable process. Accordingly, should the Authority advance a Veterans project, Solider On and other interested parties would be invited to respond to a competitive process for land transfer.
Environmental Staff Advisory Committee Updates:
December 12, 2012
The Committee did not meet in November and December.
October 17, 2012
The Committee did not meet in October.
September 19, 2012
Chairman Kenneth J. Kloo stated that the Committee met on September 12th at the FMERA Office. Mr. Kloo stated that the Committee was provided with an update on the Baseline Ecological Evaluation (BEE). The document has been reviewed and accepted by the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and that all comments and concerns have been adequately addressed and answered by the Army.
Mr. Kloo stated that the Committee discussed the Clinic Parcel Finding of Suitability to Transfer (FOST) and the transfer of the parcel will consist of 15.5 acres and the remaining 0.5 of an acre will be transferred at a later date. The 0.5 acre carve-out relates to an off-site environmental issue.
Mr. Kloo stated that the Committee discussed the Finding Of Suitability to Lease (FOSL) for the Teen Center and the Swimming Pool. The Committee was advised that the DEP’s review of the FOSL was complete. The DEP has two minor comments on the Teen Center and Swimming Pool FOSL regarding a former septic tank(s) related to the former Watson Lab site. Mr. Kloo stated that the actual septic tanks themselves will need further evaluation, and that the leach fields have been cleared.
The Committee then discussed the follow-up items from the previous meeting, including the investigation of heating oil tanks on Parcel 76. The Committee asked Matrix Design Group to do a cursory review of the Watson Labs area and its relation to Parcel C1. Mr. Kloo reported that a contract has been awarded by the Army for landfill investigation and work should begin by the end of the month. The Committee asked if the test wells around the landfills will remain and was answered that yes some will be required to stay for long-term monitoring and that the closure plan for landfills must be approved by the NJDEP. Mr. Kloo stated that Matrix will provide a summary of the landfill on Parcel F to the Committee at the next meeting.
The Committee then discussed the possible sublease of the Motor Pool from FMERA to Monmouth County. Committee members expressed the concern of some of the residents of Eatontown and Oceanport.
Mr. Kloo stated that the Committee discussed the new proposed Staff Advisory Committee membership criteria. The criteria were developed to ensure that FMERA has a knowledgeable and balanced membership, capable of providing timely and sound advice to the FMERA staff regarding the subject matter of the Committee.
August 15, 2012
Chairman Kenneth J. Kloo stated that the Committee met on August 9th at the FMERA Office. Mr. Kloo stated the Committee reviewed the DEP’s comments on the Army’s 2008 Site Investigation (SI) Report. The Committee discussed several parcels in greater depth: Parcel 28 (Building 2525) – septic issues; Parcel 38 (Pistol Range) – lead; and Parcel 49 (Former Squire Lab) – PAHs, PCBs and potential USTs. Mr. Steadman stated that FMERA staff would prepare a map of overlaying areas of environmental concern (AOCs), along with a list of the AOCs, for the next meeting.
The Committee also inquired about the former Watson Lab site and its impact, if any, on Parcel C1. The DEP will extract relevant pages from the Army’s (SI) Report. Additionally, Mr. Steadman will send the Committee a link to the Army’s website where the SI Report and other key documents are stored.
The Committee also discussed an area to the north of the historical housing units on the Main Post that reportedly formerly contained up to 60 underground storage tanks for heating oil. It was agreed that verification of this, and its status, must be confirmed. The Committee also requested a status update on the M-8 and M-18 landfills.
The Committee received a copy of the draft Finding of Suitability to Lease (FOSL) for the Teen Center and the Swimming Pool. The FOSL will be discussed at the Committee’s next meeting. A FOSL for the adjacent school will be distributed at a future meeting.
July 18, 2012
Bruce Steadman provided the Committee Report on Chairman Kenneth J. Kloo’s behalf. Mr. Steadman stated that the Committee did not meet this month.
June 20, 2012
Chairman Ken Kloo noted that the Committee met on June 5th at the FMERA Office. Mr. Kloo stated that the Committee discussed the environmental issues associated with the Clinic Parcel, Parcel E, and the former post library and the coordination meeting between the U.S. Army and the NJDEP. Mr. Kloo stated that the only issue on the Clinic Parcel was a former incinerator and the structure is no longer present, and received an unrestricted No Further Action (NFA) designation from the NJDEP in the 1990s. The Committee discussed a letter from CALIBRE, the Army’s consultant, regarding the re-categorization of Parcel 14, which is part of Parcel E. Further evaluation of previously performed investigative and sampling activities revealed that no petroleum releases were identified in the soil or groundwater and, therefore, Parcel 14 could be categorized as a category 1 (free of releases of hazardous substances or petroleum products) like the rest of Parcel E. The NJDEP was satisfied with the Army’s sampling and concurred with their findings. Due to the re-classification, the FOST for Parcel E will be modified. Mr. Kloo further stated that the only environmental issue on the former post library property was a tank on the property, but it was removed and the building received a NFA designation in 2000.
Mr. Kloo updated the Committee on the Coordination Meeting between the NJDEP and the Army. Mr. Kloo stated that the Army provided a schedule of transfer for Parcel E, Clinic Parcel, Golf Course, Parcel C, C1, Howard Commons and Marina. Mr. Kloo stated that the Army provided a Baseline Ecological Evaluation (BEE) and based on the information provided, the NJDEP did not concur with the Army’s conclusion that no further ecological evaluation is necessary. The NJDEP is awaiting a revised report.
Mr. Kloo noted that the NJDEP’s technical team would be meeting soon to review past data on Wampum Lake’s condition. Mr. Kloo noted that there were concerns by members of regarding dredging of Oceanport Creek in the vicinity of the Marina and stated that the NJDEP will look into the matter and report back to the Committee.
May 16, 2012
Chairman Ken Kloo noted that the Committee did not meet this month. Mr. Kloo stated that the Committee will meet in June to commence the Committee’s discussion on the Clinic Parcel. Mr. Kloo stated that there was a very informative coordination meeting on May 16th between the NJDEP, FMERA, and the Army regarding the environmental status of the transfer of properties within Phase 1.
April 24, 2012
NJDEP Assistant Commissioner David Sweeney stated that Ken Kloo, NJDEP’s Director of the Site Remediation Program, will be the Chairman of FMERA’s Environmental Staff Advisory Committee and represent NJDEP on the FMERA Board of Directors.
Mr. Sweeney continued by stating that the Committee met on April 16th and the Committee discussed the Finding of Suitability to Transfer (FOST) for Parcel E. NJDEP is reviewing the Army’s FOST for Parcel E and the public can comment on the FOST until May 6, 2012 on the Army’s website. The Committee Members raised an issue about sampling of the stream traversing Parcel 28 (part of Parcel E). Mr. Sweeney stated that no areas of concern were identified on Parcel 28; therefore there is no basis for investigating potential discharges of the stream. Further investigation of the stream may, however, be required relative to the other parcels or discharges.
The Committee also discussed the restriction on groundwater use in the FOST, precluding future use for drinkable purposes. Members questioned the need for a Classification Exception Area (CEA) imposed by NJDEP. The use restriction in the FOST is essentially a contractual agreement between the Army and FMERA, whereas the approval of a CEA is a formal regulatory process which restricts the use of groundwater for a particular use. A party cannot elect to establish a CEA. The remediating party proposes a CEA, but it is the NJDEP that imposes the restriction, and it is only imposed when contamination is present above a regulatory standard.
Bruce Steadman asked David Sweeney to clarify that the CEA designation was not required for Parcel E. Mr. Sweeney stated that Mr. Steadman is correct and the CEA designation does not apply to Parcel E.
March 21, 2012
NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Assistant Commissioner David Sweeney stated that the Committee did not meet in March. The Committee did meet on Monday, April 16, 2012 at the FMERA Office and an update will be provided at the April 24, 2012 meeting of the Authority.
February 15, 2012
Chairwoman Michele Siekerka noted that the Environmental Staff Advisory Committee met on February 6, 2012 at the FMERA Office. Ms. Siekerka stated that the Committee discussed the Baseline Ecological Evaluation (BEE) and that the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) continues their ongoing discussions with the Army. Ms. Siekerka stated that there was a slowdown in the process due to the Army’s change in vendors and contracts. Ms. Siekerka stated that the NJDEP did discuss the concerns of the Committee and the host municipalities regarding Wampum Lake and the NJDEP reviewed a study from the 1980s where NJDEP was asked to complete an evaluation on Wampum Lake. This study concluded that there were no issues. Ms. Siekerka stated that should the NJDEP find a link between the contamination in Wampum Lake and the Fort property, it will be recorded and will be brought to the attention of the Committee and the host municipalities. Ms. Siekerka clarified a statement made during public comment by stating that the Army would be responsible to clean up any contaminated areas within the Fort footprint and outside of the footprint if the Army caused the contamination. Ms. Siekerka stated that NJDEP standards for cleanup in New Jersey are more strict than the Federal Government’s standards, and that no property will be transferred if there are contamination issues.
January 18, 2012
Michele Siekerka noted that the Environmental Staff Advisory Committee (ESAC) did not meet this month. Ms. Siekerka stated that the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) continues their ongoing discussions with the Army regarding the Baseline Ecological Evaluation (BEE). Ms. Siekerka further stated that there has been a change in the NJDEP team leader who has been transitioning in relation to the Fort Monmouth project. Ms. Siekerka stated that the new team leader will be present at the February Committee Meeting.
Mayor Mahon stated that a member of the ESAC, Ellyn Kahle, who is also a member of the Oceanport Council, gave a report regarding potential contamination at Wampum Lake. The Oceanport Council was asked to consider adopting a resolution supporting Eatontown’s investigation regarding the potential contamination at Wampum Lake.