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  • Robert Rabin
    Press Release September 29, 2012 Contacts: Jorge Fernández Porto (787) 448-2979, Ricardo Bouyett (787) 647-2981, Kathy Gannett (787) 565-2717 Vieques to Navy:
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 1, 2012
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      Press Release

      September 29, 2012

      Contacts: Jorge Fernández Porto (787) 448-2979, Ricardo Bouyett (787)
      647-2981, Kathy Gannett (787) 565-2717

      Vieques to Navy: Enclosing the bombs and explosives with barb wire is not a

      All the community members of the Restoration Advisory Board (RAB), which
      advises the Navy on the cleanup, are opposing the Navy's proposal to leave
      contamination in one site in the west of Vieques which would set a dangerous
      precedent for the cleanup in other sites with military toxics left by the
      Navy's 60 years of practices in Vieques.

      The site is called Solid Waste Management Unit 4 (SWMU4) and is south of
      Green Beach and Punta Arena. The deadline for the public to comment on the
      Navy's Plan is October 5, 2012. The community RAB members support
      Alternative #5 offered by the Navy which calls for a complete cleanup. On
      September 25, the Vieques Municipal Legislature voted unanimously on a
      resolution also supporting Alternative #5. In the words of Vice President of
      the Municipal Legislature Gilda Pimentel, "The one who dirties the house,
      must clean it."

      According to Jorge Fernandez Porto, who has served for more than ten years
      as a member of the RAB, "The U.S. Navy is proposing to finish the cleanup of
      one of the sites they contaminated by enclosing the area where they
      detonated defective bombs, rather than remove all the explosives that may
      still be in this location. This proposal, unacceptable to the community,
      means that 352 acres in the Boquiquebrada area, an area used by residents
      and tourists, explosive materials that endanger their safety would remain
      there. The Navy simply would encircle the major part of the area and only
      allow access to a strip along the coast, a picnic area and a parking area.
      We maintain that the Navy must decontaminate the area they contaminated to a
      level that does not pose a threat to life or the environment. "

      The community RAB members believes a complete cleaning can be accomplished
      without clear cutting important tree species - contrary to the scare
      tactics that the Navy is using to justify leaving the contamination in
      place. In a public meeting held on September 17, according to RAB member
      Lirio Marquez, "the Navy stated that fences as a remedy will be instituted
      in all places where munitions were used in Vieques. This is unacceptable to
      the community. They expect the people of Vieques to accept fences and use
      restrictions as a "remedy"? This is no remedy. It is simply, doing the least
      possible, the cheapest way."

      For more information, visit the Navy’s website:

      Send comments to Kevin Cloe, U.S. Navy, kevin.cloe@...

      Wilmarie Rivera, P.R. Environmental Quality Board,wilmarierivera@...

      Julio F. Vázquez, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,

      Note from Kathy: Please send your comments even if you miss the October 5th
      deadline and send me a copy of your comments to kbg0076@....

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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