Representatives from the Navy will meet with community members this week to discuss 19 sites on Navy property or property the Navy gave to the city of Key West that require environmental cleanup or monitoring.
The annual Restoration Advisory Board meeting takes place at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the DoubleTree Grand Key Resort in Key West and is open to the public.
"The Navy has a long history in Key West and past chemical handling and disposal practices were much less stringent than today, so there are areas on Naval Air Station (NAS) Key West and our former properties that require environmental cleanup action under the Navy's Environmental Restoration Program," said NAS Key West Commanding Officer Capt. Patrick Lefere in a prepared statement. "The purpose of the program is to reduce risk to human health and the environment from any contamination remaining on Navy property from historical activities."
The Navy has been holding the annual meetings since 1995.
According to maps provided by the Navy, 11 of the areas are on Boca Chica Key, five are on NAS Key West annexes and three are on Truman Annex, which was part of the city's Base Realignment and Closure process (BRAC).
"The BRAC sites are areas that once were Navy property, but given to the city of Key West as part of the BRAC process," said Ed Barham, environmental director for NAS Key West. "Basically, we want to make the community aware of what we're doing to clean these sites."
Residents may want to take particular note of the area known as the "Oval" at Truman Waterfront, in which soil tests in 2009 indicated PCBs that exceeded allowable levels.
"We removed that dirt, brought in clean dirt and replanted it with grass," Barham said.
A BRAC representative will be present to discuss that project as well as other clean-up efforts at Truman Annex, part of which remains under Navy control and ownership. The Navy will also discuss the continued clean up of the fuel farm on Trumbo Point, which includes the large fuel containers that fuel fighter jets, Barham said.
Workers found soil there contaminated by petroleum and have been replacing the dirt there as well and continue to monitor the site, Barham said.
The Restoration Advisory Board is also seeking more public, non-Navy representatives, Barham said.
Copies of all the official Environmental Restoration Program documents are available at the Monroe County Library at Fleming and Elizabeth streets in Key West. They are located in the local and state historical department there.
The meeting will be open to the public and free parking will be available. For additional information contact the NAS Key West Public Affairs at 305-293-2027.