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Community Involvement
restoration advisory board
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Restoration Advisory Board

Radford Army Ammunition Plant (RFAAP)
Restoration Advisory Board (RAB)
July 20, 2000

Meeting Minutes


Members: Organization:
David Allbee Blacksburg resident
Steve Cole Blacksburg Rotary Club
Jim McKenna RFAAP/RAB Co-Chair
Joe Parrish Anderson & Associates
Attendees: Organization:
Devlin Harris Virginia Dept. of Environmental Quality
Debra Miller Virginia Dept. of Environmental Quality
Drew Rak U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Jerry Redder Alliant Ammunition and Powder Company, RFAAP
Pete Rissell U.S. Army Environmental Center
Tony Spaar U.S. Army Industrial Operations Command
John Tesner U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Katie Phillips WPI

Agenda Item #1. Introductory Remarks, Approve Minutes of 18 May 2000

Mr. Jim McKenna convened the meeting at 7:00 p.m. and asked if there were any comments or questions about the 18 May 2000 RAB meeting minutes. There were none, and the minutes were approved as written.

Mr. McKenna introduced Mr. Devlin Harris and Ms. Debra Miller of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. Mr. Devlin is the main point of contact for Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) actions at RFAAP while Ms. Miller is the main point of contact for Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) actions.

Agenda Item #2. Selection of RAB Community Co-Chair

Mr. McKenna announced that Mr. Rick Parrish, the current Community Co-Chair, resigned from the RAB. In Mr. Robert Freis’ absence, Mr. McKenna reported that he had communicated with Mr. Freis and that Mr. Freis would be willing to act as Community Co-Chair. Mr. David Allbee nominated Mr. Freis, and Mr. Joe Parrish seconded the motion. Mr. Freis was unanimously voted the new RAB Community Co-Chair.

Agenda Item #3. Installation Action Plan Workshop

Mr. McKenna reported that RFAAP will be holding an Installation Action Plan (IAP) workshop September 19–21, 2000 at the Four Points by Sheraton in Blacksburg. He invited a representative of the RAB to attend. The purpose of the workshop it to review sites and future plans and then to prioritize work and structure the budget accordingly. Mr. Allbee requested that RFAAP email all RAB members to extend an invitation to the workshop as the date approaches.

Mr. Jerry Redder asked if an agenda would be available so RAB members could determine what parts of the workshop they would be interested in attending. Mr. Tony Spaar responded that there really isn’t much of an agenda because the workshop is fluid depending on how long it takes to go over each site.

Mr. Harris recommended that RAB members just come for an hour or two, not all day, just to get an idea of the process. Mr. McKenna suggested that RAB members review the IAP—available on the web site ( and in the Christiansburg library—before the workshop.

Mr. Steve Cole asked who will convene the workshop and whether the workshop would address only RFAAP sites. Mr. McKenna replied that the U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC) would convene the workshop. Mr. Redder responded that they would talk only about RFAAP. A discussion followed about the process as summarized below:

  • The IAP outlines a cost to complete estimate proposed by RFAAP for each site, which is the amount of money estimated to close out sites (e.g., investigations and if necessary, corrective actions to clean up sites).
  • The IAP workshop is held with all stakeholders such as RFAAP, AMC, regulators, and community representatives so that everyone can work out issues, establish priorities, agree on recommended site actions, and agree with or revise the site cost estimates. It is important to have regulators involved at this stage of the process so that they can provide input on site actions and also so they can request funds for regulator oversight.
  • AMC has 62 installations and decides each fiscal year how to divide up the money received among them. Funds are usually concentrated on high-risk sites and sites that are almost done. At IAP workshops, sites of a particular installation (in our case, RFAAP) are prioritized so that they can forecast what projects will be able to be executed in what years. Mr. McKenna reported that the current plan at RFAAP is to have high-priority sites completed by 2007 and medium- and low-priority sites completed by 2014. He explained that "completed" means that a final action has been taken in the form of on-site cleanup or a decision has been made for no further action. Mr. Spaar reported that the Army has moved the RFAAP high-priority sites out to 2009.

Mr. Harris indicated that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) added sites from the RCRA Facility Assessment of 1987 into the 2000 corrective action permit that EPA will issue and that these sites would discussed at the workshop. Mr. Cole inquired about EPA issuing a permit. Mr. McKenna responded that EPA will at some point send RFAAP a final permit. This permit will require RFAAP to implement a process at each site named in the permit. Once RFAAP begins the process and collects data, the subsequent evaluation of that data will dictate what happens next. For example, the data may indicate an elevated risk that requires further evaluation in a corrective measures study (CMS). This CMS would identify alternatives for addressing the risk. On the other hand, the data evaluation may indicate no further action is needed. Mr. McKenna reiterated that actions will depend on what is found at each site.

Mr. Allbee asked if two or three RAB members could attend the beginning of the workshop. Mr. Spaar responded that because of room limitations, it would be better if only one RAB member attended at a time. Mr. Harris added that RAB members would not be turned away if they showed up. However, staggering RAB attendance would be better.

Project Status Update

Mr. McKenna referred to the RFAAP Investigative Status Report Update handout and summarized recent activities. Mr. Allbee asked whether the groundwater study had been completed yet. Mr. McKenna responded that RFAAP is still working on it. A discussion followed about the difficulty of gathering groundwater information in a karst geology like the New River Valley. Mr. McKenna explained that the RFAAP Installation Restoration Program needs to focus on source removal (i.e., removing contaminants from the soil). If soil contamination is removed or immobilized, then contamination can no longer migrate to the groundwater.

RAB Membership

Mr. McKenna reported that with the resignation of Mr. Rick Parrish and Mr. David Dobkins, there are now only five RAB members. He would like to increase membership and asked RAB members to spread the word and let him know of any interested community members. Mr. McKenna said that he contacted Montgomery and Pulaski County planning departments and the New River Valley Planning District Commission and issued a news release in June to solicit RAB participation. Pulaski County is planning to appoint someone to the RAB.

Agenda Item #4. Closing Remarks, Schedule Next Meeting

Mr. McKenna adjourned the meeting at 8:15 p.m. The next RAB meeting will be held at RFAAP on Thursday, 16 November 2000, at 7 p.m.

Mr. Redder announced that a public posterboard meeting will be held on Monday, July 24 to discuss RFAAP incinerators under the Clean Air Act.

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