Newport This Week

More on Defense Highway

To the Editor:

The July 7 article entitled “Long Path Ahead for Burma Road Restoration” contains outdated information and fails to address many key environmental issues.

As stated in the Final Environmental Conditions of Property Report, “The steam and condensation lines that run from the storage tanks to the fueling piers, along the Defense Highway, have an asbestos insulation system.” Removing asbestos is a costly but necessary action that must be addressed in the report.

As stated in the Woodard & Curran Report, June 30, 2016, page 3-1, “An inactive fuel line buried along Defense Highway was cleaned by the Navy. Oil contamination on the east side of the roadway remains.” Mitigating oil contamination is a costly but necessary action that must be addressed in the report.

The referenced Matrix presentation to the Portsmouth Town Council on Nov. 2-3, 2016 contradicts the RIDEM Record of Decision (ROD) dated Sept. 7, 2016 that implemented “land use controls to prevent residential and other unrestricted use and to prevent access to soil in excess of the Residential RGs.” This is neither “recent” nor accurate, according to the RIDEM ROD.

Although H.B. 8114 was sponsored by Rep. Deborah Ruggiero, it was also sponsored by Reps. Lauren Carson, Susan Donovan, John Edwards, Michelle McGaw and Terri Cortvriend (a property owner at Melville Marina).

As a side note, the Portsmouth Town Council defunded the Aquidneck Island Planning Commission (AIPC) from $18,000 to $0.

Nancy Howard Portsmouth

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