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Navy seeks to disband Moffett Field RAB

Original post made on May 12, 2017

The Moffett Field Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) -- the lone watchdog panel that monitors pollution and the restoration of Hangar One -- is set to be disbanded after a surprise move made on Thursday night by U.S. Navy officials.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, May 12, 2017, 1:54 PM

Comments (18)

Posted by Neighbor
a resident of North Whisman
on May 12, 2017 at 2:08 pm

If they're collecting public input over the next 30 days then can you let us know how to provide that input?

Posted by Mark Noack
a resident of another community
on May 12, 2017 at 2:14 pm

I'm trying to get an answer on that ...

Posted by Mark Noack
a resident of another community
on May 12, 2017 at 2:23 pm

Here's their preferred contact for public comment:

BRAC Environmental Coordinator
Mr. James B. Sullivan
Base Realignment and Closure Program Management Office, West
33000 Nixie Way, Building 50, Suite 207, San Diego, CA, 92147-5116
Phone: (619) 524-4048

Posted by William Hitchens
a resident of Waverly Park
on May 12, 2017 at 2:30 pm

In addition to Hanger 1, there are several airplane service areas and munition bunkers that probably are heavily contaminated too. What does the Navy propose to do about that --- dump the responsibility off on NASA?

Posted by dan shane
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 12, 2017 at 3:01 pm

Although the decision to disband the Navy's RAB is probably to related to the new Administration's policies, I would like to share my perspective on elimination of environmental programs and regulations. Please read my letter dated May 1, 2017 I mailed to Representative Anna G. Esho, Representative Barbara Lee, Senator Kamala D. Harris and Senator Dianne Feinstein regarding the President’s proposed 31% cut to EPA’s 2017 budget, elimination of environmental programs and regulations, and scientists.

The foundation for stable economic growth is abundant natural resources. A clean non-polluted environment is needed to support and spur long-term economic growth. Most EPA programs support the Presidents goal of improving economic growth including the Removal, Remedial, UST and Brownsfields cleanup programs which convert unusable properties to productive uses. Short-term, short-sighted policies such as elimination of important environmental cleanup programs, regulatory programs (i.e., Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act) designed to prevent degradation or loss of natural resources, science-based research & development and reduction in carbon emissions and other greenhouse gases will have significant long term consequences and work against the President's goal which should be sustainable economic growth. Environmental protection and economic growth are inextricably connected to each other. Economic growth and public health are dependent on a clean environment and natural resources, and not the reverse as stated by President Trump. Worsening contamination of our land, water and air will greatly affect people's health and increase medical costs. These costs will be a significant drain on our economic resources and increase our national debt.

Please get this message to President Trump and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. One pro-active action we can take is to organize a grassroots effort to defeat anti-environmental and anti-health (and anti-economic) legislation.

Posted by MyOpinion
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 12, 2017 at 3:06 pm

To disband RAB with no transition plan is irresponsible. Is this at all related to Trump's EPA cuts? Web Link

Posted by Greg Unangst
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 12, 2017 at 4:36 pm

We have crafted the following letter to be sent to the Navy concerning the "Adjournment" of the RAB. If you would like to have your name included as a signatory please let me know and we will include your name when we send it to the Navy with CCs to our Congressional delegation.

"June ?, 2017

James B. Sullivan
BRAC Environmental Coordinator
Moffett Field Naval Air Station
Navy BRAC PMO West
33000 Nixie Way, Building 50 Suite 207
San Diego CA 92147-5116

Dear Sir:

At the May 11 meeting of the Moffett Field Restoration Advisory Board (RAB), you announced the Navy’s plan to adjourn the Moffett Field RAB and sought public comment on this proposal. This letter represents a consensus response from community members of the Moffett RAB as well as other members of our community.

The RAB Rule, 32 CFR Part 202, makes it clear that Installation Commanders, including BRAC Environmental Coordinators, may consider “adjourning”—that is, terminating—a RAB when the environmental decision-making of the Defense component at that facility is concluded.

However, the Navy’s work at Moffett Field is far from over. More than two decades after closure and property transfer, the Navy is still engaged in active investigation and decision-making that merits oversight by members of the local community.

We recognize that the Navy is not the only party responsible for conducting cleanup activities at Moffett and the regional groundwater plume. We look forward to the formation of a shared community advisory board, in which the Navy participates regularly along with other agencies and private parties, but until that board is in place it is essential that the Navy’s RAB continue to provide a forum for community engagement. Over the next few months, the RAB will work with the regulatory agencies, the responsible parties, local municipalities and the various tenant organizations at Moffett Field to craft a suitable organizational mechanism to allow the important work of the Moffett Field RAB to move into the future.

In the early 1990s the Moffett Naval Air Station’s Technical Review Committee served as the national model for the formation of hundreds of RABs and other advisory boards. Please work with our community to make Moffett a national model for continuing community engagement at current and former military facilities as the role of the Defense component in the overall environmental program declines."

If you would like your name included please let me know along with any organizational affiliation you would like to include. Please email at

Thanks for your support.

Greg Unangst
Community Co-Chair
Moffett Federal Field RAB

Posted by resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 12, 2017 at 4:39 pm

Donald Trump controls the Federal pollution control these days. He just doesn't care.

Posted by Greg Unangst
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 12, 2017 at 4:53 pm

There was a typo in the email address. It should be
My apologies
Greg Unangst
Community Co-Chair
Moffett Federal Field RAB

Posted by Abra McDonald
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 13, 2017 at 2:08 am

Once closed the powers that be will start building needed housing. It is in our best interest to keep some space between the hoards of people moving here. Once it's gone there's no getting it back.

Posted by @Resident
a resident of Whisman Station
on May 13, 2017 at 7:51 am

Focus on the issue, not the politics.

Posted by Thida Cornes
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 13, 2017 at 8:17 am

Mark, thanks for the contact information. Is it possible to add it to the online article? It make sharing calls to action on social media easier.

Posted by resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 13, 2017 at 11:36 am

@@Resident - the Trump administration is ending Federal pollution control programs for political reasons. The only ways to fight him are to circumvent him through politics or find private funds for cleaning up the pollution. If you think science or facts can stop him, you are naive.

Posted by B. Goodwin
a resident of another community
on May 13, 2017 at 10:50 pm

Too bad this TCP contamination is allowed to go on.. I wonder to what extent
our drinking water is impacted?

Posted by Lenny Siegel
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 14, 2017 at 12:43 am

Our drinking water is not threatened by the contamination at Moffett Field or any of the many contaminated industrial sites in Mountain View. The threat comes from vapor intrusion, the migration of volatile toxic chemicals from the subsurface into overlying buildings. Thanks to the volunteer RAB (Restoration Advisory Board) members and the regulatory agencies (U.S. EPA and the Regional Water Board) the Navy's cleanup program at Moffett is robust. But because the Navy is no longer active at Moffett, it has been trying to hand off its responsibilities to NASA, the current owner of most of the former base, and Google/Planetary Ventures, the principal lessee. They Navy's role at Moffett is declining, but RAB members believe the RAB should not be disbanded until a replacement is created.

Posted by How long?
a resident of Gemello
on May 14, 2017 at 10:42 am

It's been like, what, 22 years since the Navy left Moffett and we're still waiting for Hangar One to be reskinned. Other that that, as Lenny Siegal writes above, the Navy's cleanup program at Moffett is robust. After 22 years and lots of progress, hasn't the RAB served its purpose?

Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 16, 2017 at 11:36 pm

To - How long:
Apparently not, there is still a lot of work left to be done.
To - Greg Unangst:
Thank you for drafting a letter so quickly. We must fight to stay strong and have our voices heard. Thank you for being the city's voice in all of this. We want full clean up of the entire site!

Posted by Cockroach
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 17, 2017 at 8:16 am

That's the problem with government entities like the RAB. Once you start one, it lasts forever. We'll be arguing about getting rid of the RAB for the next 100 years.

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