• County Economic Development Director Underscores Challenges in Finding New Uses for Closed Bases

    County Economic Development Director Underscores Challenges in Finding New Uses for Closed Bases0

    A new round of base closures may allow the Pentagon to redirect spending on unneeded facilities into higher priority requirements, but advocates for a sixth BRAC round shouldn’t promote the process as one defense communities can readily recover from, says the head of an economic development organization helping to address a realignment in south central Pennsylvania. “No one should think it’s an easy process,” said L. Michael Ross, president of the Franklin County Area Development Corp., which has been supporting the Letterkenny Industrial Development Authority in its efforts to convert almost 1,500 acres to commercial use since Letterkenny Army Depot was realigned following the 1995 round of BRAC …

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  • DOD Outlines Process for LRAs to Request Protection under Environmental Statute

    DOD Outlines Process for LRAs to Request Protection under Environmental Statute0

    The Defense Department has proposed a rule outlining the process for local redevelopment authorities (LRAs), owners and others in control of BRAC sites to request legal representation from DOD according to a federal statute intended to protect them from liability for undiscovered contamination. The proposed rule, published in the Dec. 7 Federal Register, stems from Section 330 of the 1993 defense authorization act, which indemnifies owners of former military base property from lawsuits, judgements and other actions arising out of claims for personal injury or property damage. To date, the statute primarily has been relied on by LRAs and their insurers to recover damages from the military after they encounter previously unknown contamination …

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  • Radiation Concerns to Slow Property Transfer at Hunters Point

    Radiation Concerns to Slow Property Transfer at Hunters Point0

    The Navy has agreed to suspend any further transfers of property at the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in San Francisco due to several investigations into the falsification of data by its cleanup contractor. In 2014, Tetra Tech admitted to submitting false samples in an apparent effort to show the soil was not radioactive. Last week, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Supervisor Malia Cohen told U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy that the city “will not accept the transfer of any land until federal and state regulators are satisfied that the land is clean and safe” and the city’s health department validates the decision …

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  • Federal Funding Uncertain for Health Studies of Water Contamination at Philadelphia-Area Bases

    Federal Funding Uncertain for Health Studies of Water Contamination at Philadelphia-Area Bases0

    Federal health officials said they would support a program of blood testing and health monitoring for residents who rely on drinking water contaminated by the use of firefighting foams at two closed bases outside of Philadelphia, Sen. Robert Casey (D-Pa.) said last week. How the effort, estimated to cost $20 million to $30 million over five years, would be funded is still an open question, however. DOD has said federal law prohibits it from covering the cost. At a meeting involving officials from several federal agencies and lawmakers, representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said they would work with Congress to obtain funding …

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  • After 20 Years, Devens Approaches Workforce of 5,000

    After 20 Years, Devens Approaches Workforce of 5,0000

    Employment at Devens, the 4,400-acre, mixed-use community in north-central Massachusetts that has taken shape since Fort Devens closed, has jumped 24 percent over the past two years due to growth in manufacturing, transportation and warehousing, and professional services. After two decades of redevelopment, total employment among businesses, government agencies and nonprofits at the reuse project managed by MassDevelopment now stands at 4,977, according to a new study by the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute. Private sector and nonprofit organizations had estimated combined sales of more than $1.4 billion in fiscal 2016 …

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  • Residents Target Manufacturers of Firefighting Foam over Contaminated Groundwater

    Residents Target Manufacturers of Firefighting Foam over Contaminated Groundwater0

    In a series of federal lawsuits filed over the past two weeks, residents neighboring active and former military bases in Colorado Springs and suburban Philadelphia have filed lawsuits against the manufacturers of firefighting foam believed to have contaminated their drinking water supplies. The most recent suit was filed last week by the Colorado Springs-based McDivitt Law Firm on behalf of nine plaintiffs claiming their elevated blood levels of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) stemmed from the use of firefighting foam at Peterson Air Force Base. The Air Force previously confirmed that elevated levels of PFCs found in the drinking water supply in several communities south of Colorado Springs — Security, Widefield, and Fountain — most likely resulted from the use of firefighting foam at Peterson …

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