Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Quick Update on our EPA challenge

NOPE's own Charles Basile of Colts Neck, whose firm, the Wall Street Group (of Jersey City), has graciously donated many of the printed materials distributed by us since inception, received a letter from EPA Region 2 chief John Filippelli that amounted to an implicit copout that a) the EPA can only take the Navy at its word that breaching the Laurelwood contract is not a "reasonable alternative" to the "No Build Alternative" we have long espoused, and b) yes, the Navy should have released its EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) much earlier than it did in order to give the EPA more time to study environmental alternatives to opening up the Laurelwood houses on the base to civilian occupants. In our view, these answers are unacceptable from an agency whose presumed mission is environmental protection. (Breaching an EPA Superfund site in addition to displacing wetlands and wreaking environmental havoc, as the Navy will do to obligate the civilian out-lease portion of the Laurelwood contract, seems to fit this description).

Fulton Wilcox, who along with Diana Piotrowski has spearheaded our EPA case, is organizing NOPE's response, which NOPE will share here once finished, and in the meantime we will continue to press environmental officials on the Navy's misleading "purpose and need."

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