The Navy’s top cleanup person for Alameda Point, Derek Robinson, began the September 2011 Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) meeting by asking members to consider cutting back on the frequency of its monthly meetings. He cited budget pressure. The meetings cost the Navy $10,000 per meeting. The purpose of the RAB is to review, comment, and makes suggestions to the Navy and regulatory agencies regarding cleanup of toxic substances at Alameda Point, and also to serve as a vehicle for the Navy to communicate with the community.
Three longtime RAB members said they were open to the idea of meeting reductions. One cited the small number of areas left for review. Two suggested that conference calls in lieu of meeting in person would be acceptable as an alternative. The RAB’s community co-chair Dale Smith, however, opposed any meeting reductions until work phase planning is completed on the remaining cleanup areas. She said there is still too much going on.
The guidelines for establishing local environmental cleanup advisory groups were established in 1994. Details on the number of members and meeting frequency were left to the local areas. The Alameda Point RAB adopted a new set of rules on May 7, 2009, which stated that meetings would be monthly, and that schedule changes must be placed on the agenda and passed by a majority vote of RAB Community members, the Navy, City representatives, and the Regulators. The rules were signed by the Navy, the community co-chair, and three regulators.
No decision was made at the September meeting. Mr. Robinson said the subject of meeting frequency would be brought up again in a few months. Continue reading “Should cleanup advisory board meetings be cut back?”