Our environmental engineers (Laura Landry and Bob Hoffman) and our marine engineer (Greg Roebuck) joined project leadership in a conference call with CDR Bill Butler, NAVSTA Newport Public Works Officer, and 3 members of his environmental engineering team (Newport and Norfolk).
It was a positive and productive meeting. The call’s atmosphere was very much one of “what will it take to make this happen”. The Navy team did not disagree with any of our findings, and while this is far from a final endorsement they agreed that our preliminary plan as presented did not seem to create any real environmental obstacles. They also provided some cautions and made some constructive suggestions for a second presentation to a larger group that would include representatives of the EPA and RI Department of Environmental Management.
That second briefing went equally well. CDR Butler introduced us, and our proposal did not raise any red flags with the state or federal environmental officials in attendance.
This represents a major step forward for the project, since the Navy wants to ensure that making Pier 2 available to us for berthing JFK does not give heartburn to environmental agencies.
Subsequent to the environmental discussions, the JFK team continued its positive dialog with Town of Middletown officials, primarily focusing on potential changes to law enforcement jurisdiction once the Navy moves its security fence line to accommodate public access to Pier 2.