Contact Us


All News Releases By Date


EPA Responds to Public Comments on Navy Workplans for Investigation of Eastern End of Vieques

Release Date: 09/24/2003
Contact Information:
(#03107) San Juan, P.R. – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released responses to public comments on Navy workplans prepared under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) for investigations of areas of possible contamination on the eastern end of Vieques, and community involvement in the project. EPA and the Navy have made adjustments to the workplans in response to comments received during a public comment period. EPA will approve the revised workplans shortly, and the Navy will be responsible for their implementation.

"As the investigation and cleanup of eastern Vieques proceeds, community involvement and input will be key to our success," said Regional Administrator Jane M. Kenny. "I want to thank the members of the Vieques community who contributed their views on the workplans, and encourage active dialogue between us in the future."

In January 2000, EPA used its authority under RCRA to require the Navy to perform an investigation of its former facility on the eastern side of Vieques to determine the extent of environmental contamination. The Navy developed six workplans, one focused on community involvement and the others describing the objectives of, technical approach to and schedule for investigations of 12 specific areas and ground water along the western boundary of former Navy lands on the eastern end of the island. The documents were released for public comment in August 2002. EPA and the Navy reviewed all the comments, prepared written responses to them, and made appropriate adjustments.

EPA is committed to an active and rigorous community involvement effort during the investigation and cleanup of Vieques. The Agency has already held community meetings, distributed a fact sheet on the then proposed workplans in both English and Spanish, and established public repositories for document review. EPA has made a $20,000 grant available to a community group to assist local residents with technical assistance in understanding the plans for investigations and cleanup. The Agency has received applications for this grant and plans to award the funds this fall. In early October, EPA will conduct interviews with Vieques community members as a part of the development of a formal community involvement plan for the RCRA investigation and cleanup.

The complete workplans with revisions are available for review online. Click on "Enclosure III." Some revisions were also made to the community involvement workplan, also available at the above Web site under "Enclosure IV."

Copies of EPA's responses to comments are also available at the following locations:

EPA's Caribbean Environmental Protection Division
Centro Europa Building, Suite 417
1492 Ponce de Leon Avenue
Santurce, Puerto Rico

Biblioteca Publica
Jose Gautier Benitez
Calle Baldorioty de Castro
Vieques, Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board
Ponce de León Ave.
Hato Rey, Puerto Rico

To request a copy of the responses by mail please contact Wanda Ayala at 212-637-3660.