To meet the goals of the Department of the Navy (DON) Environmental Restoration Program (ERP), DON partners with regulatory and community stakeholders to foster better relationships and maintain open lines of communication. Partnering also helps DON promote the use of innovative technologies to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of environmental cleanup.
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DON ERP includes the substantive involvement of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), federal land managers, other appropriate federal agencies, local base environmental staff, state, interstate, Indian tribal, and local governments throughout the Environmental Restoration (ER) process. These organizations are collectively referred to as stakeholders.
Partnering is a process that brings these key stakeholders together to work as a team to achieve mutually beneficial goals for protection of human health and the environment. All stakeholders are ultimately working towards efficient, safe, timely, and cost-effective cleanup of ER sites. Partnering with federal and state regulators is generally accomplished through a regional tiered approach. Tier 1 is completed at the project manager level, Tier 2 includes first line supervisors, and Tier 3 brings in regional senior program managers to resolve major site issues.
In addition, DON conducts annual Environmental Managers Executive Committee meetings with EPA Regions 1, 9 and 10 and the corresponding regional state agencies to enhance understanding of overall program priorities, objectives, and strategies. The Committee consists of executives from the Navy, including Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Environment), Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC), and Base Realignment and Closure Program Management Office (BRAC PMO), as well as leadership from EPA and multiple state agencies and helps to foster collaboration on issues of common interest.
DON ERP provides stakeholders with notice of discrete phases of a response, adequate opportunity for timely review and comment, and takes proactive steps to identify and address issues of concern to stakeholders. These efforts have the overall goal of ensuring that decisions regarding ER activities reflect consideration of a broad spectrum of stakeholder input. For example, stakeholder involvement includes participation in Restoration Advisory Boards (RABs) and public reviews; commenting on reports, Proposed Plans (PPs), and Records of Decision (RODs)/Decision Documents (DDs); and providing input into land use planning for parcels being transferred from federal control. More information on RABs can be found on the Community Involvement Web page.
Promoting interaction with the community, regulators, and other stakeholders early in the process helps to ensure that response actions proposed by DON gain stakeholder acceptance.