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P. O.

Box 750
Isla de Culebra, PR 00775
1-877-77CORAL / 1-877-77(2-6725)
(o) 787-556-6234 (f) 212-428-6717
@email: info@coralations.org
October 14, 2010
Jose M. Mendez, PE, MBA
Project Manager,
Interagency International Br
US Army Corps of Engineers
400 Fernandez Juncos
San Juan, P. R. 00901

Re: Response to attached email (below) regarding next Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) -
unexploded ordinance clean up for Culebra, Puerto Rico

Dear Mr. Mendez:

Please make sure this correspondence makes it into the formal record.

It’s been over a year since our last meeting. It is disappointing that contractor work begins
before the next community RAB meeting again, especially given that the point of the
community RAB meetings is to inform the community.

What specifically is the "work" that will be started in a few days? You mentioned Parsons, is
this an extension of the Risk Analysis product, we were ultimately prohibited from obtaining a
copy of? What protected habitats or species could this work adversely affect? What
method(s) are to be used? Would it be possible for you to post a digital copy of the SOP
online, since there will be no RAB meeting before the 18th of October?

Culebra is considered an
Environmental Justice
community largely because
the US Navy used the islands
as a “target product” when
the islands (and by extension
her inhabitants) were used by
US Navy as well as leased to
other NATO forces to
conduct military target
practice maneuvers.
As you know, the people fought hard to get Culebra on the radar for the bomb clean up
funding.

It is of further concern that lack of meaningful public participation/ transparency can foster
corruption and we can see at least one very powerful contractor mentioned in your email.

I would like to revisit points made at our last meeting, before the November reunion you
announced and regarding Culebra’s clean up budget. Is the community RAB entitled to
review budget so we can get a handle on what money is being spent and with whom, or do
you recommend we FOIA this information?

Will the next RAB meeting involve any local or Federal Agency participation, since none were
copied in the email announcement? I again want to stress that our community input is not
constructive if agencies meet with you separately, if at all. If these meetings cannot be done
in compliance to meaningful public participation, then maybe it is in fact better to end them as
you proposed last October, then to allow them to in anyway serve as a legitimate public or
transparent process. (EQB has attended all meetings and EPA began attending last few
meetings. USFWS began attending a few meetings and then stopped)

I want to continue to participate in this process, but the burden is steep for those of us who
donate their time and continue to ask why? In past meetings we noticed two contractors
repeating what I am guessing to be expensive studies and when we asked if these were
coming out of clean up budget, you said yes. Specifically, offshore magnetometer studies
performed by Ellis Environmental demonstrated that the volcanic soils made the
magnetometer investigations inconclusive due to background metals. Later, other
contractors repeated this. Why isn’t the RAB consulted prior, to be informed of tasks to be
completed and prior to these awards being granted to contractors?

Our last meeting was well over a year ago, and now we have to approve what is presented to
us in terms of minutes? Please send these minutes in advance of this meeting electronically,
so we can review them.

I understand and sympathize with your having to coordinate agencies and communities in
what is considered a “difficult” region, but what can you expect given the sensitivity of the
issue? From my perspective the community has never been the problem here, rather they
have always been historically the victims of local and Federal agency mis-conduct and
corruption. It is no shock to me they are disempowered and disengaged in this process,
when this is how as a RAB member, I feel.

I encourage you to use all your leverage, including your legal division to formally invite local
DRNA and ACDEC to the next community meeting and to investigate legally any
accountability or nexus. Ley 66, 1975 (as amended) which created ACDEC sought to protect
the ecological integrity of the island and this hazardous waste is certainly an environmental
problem, as defined by United States Environmental Protection Agency. There must be
some leverage here. Further, all of Culebra is considered US Coastal Zone and all of the
DRNA enforcement budget comes from Federal public funds and the US Coastal Zone
Management Act. This “enforcement” is based on a plan that is supposed to

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serve as the Land Use Plan for the entire island. This hazardous waste should be a factoring
into land use and development plans. Regarding USFWS, they have personnel who were
specifically trained in the area of unexploded ordinance and community education who used
to attend these meetings, but do not anymore. NMFS division of NOAA has never attended
the RAB meetings and marine endangered species are their jurisdictional authority.

This current “multiple meetings” approach is neither financially prudent, nor transparent for
the community. Continuing community meetings without meaningful Government
engagement really seems to be an overall waste of everyone’s time and public funding.

Finally, we respectfully request that some assistance from Tom Freeman regarding the status
of the Navy lands transfer. We have seen through FOIA requests that the community co-
chair of this board, Mr. Juan Romero, has been more than diligent regarding written requests
regarding status of Navy lands to be transferred for public use to the US Fish and Wildlife
Service. While I don’t speak for him, I write this from the perspective of an environmental
justice advocate, to remind you that it has now been 40 years since the Navy left, and today
these lands promised to the public are actively being actively privatized and destroyed by
developers engaged cooperative agreements with USFWS. This destruction is impacting
shared resources like the water quality of Flamenco Bay and it appears in violation of the
access agreements stated in the Cooperative Agreement, USFWS signs speaking louder
than the actual contract today.

Summary of questions:

o What specifically is the "work" that will be started in a few days?

o What protected habitats or species could this work adversely affect?

o What method(s) are to be used?

o Can you make a digital copy of the SOP for work to start on 18th available
online?

o Can you involve legal to send invitations informing both local and Federal
agencies they will be held to some standard of accountability if they
choose not to participate assuming there is no viable Federal nexus for
local agencies on this?

o Is the community RAB entitled to review budget so we can get a handle on


what money is being spent with whom, or do you recommend we FOIA
this information?

o Why isn’t the RAB consulted prior to the granting of contractor awards
regarding the work to be done?

o Please forward minutes from last meeting (Aug 2009?)

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o Can Mr. Freeman investigate and brief the RAB on status of Navy lands
transfer at the next meeting?

I look forward to your response and hope to participate in the next RAB meeting
announced, if agencies will be in attendance so our community input can be
meaningful.

Sincerely,

Mary Ann Lucking


Director
CORALations

c. Juan Romero
Judith Enck
Roy Crabtree
Rowan W. Gould

Attachment: email meeting announcement

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From: Mendez, Jose M SAJ (Jose.M.Mendez@usace.army.mil)


To: svnieves@yahoo.com; dignafeliciano@hotmail.com; jjromero@coqui.net; josefinaV@coqui.net;
Coral_giac@yahoo.com; sirenadeculebra@gmail.com; colvictormartinez@yahoo.com;
marshwren@earthlink.net; maryann@coralations.org;
Date: Thu, October 14, 2010 1:14:10 PM
Cc: Thomas.R.Freeman.III@usace.army.mil; Amanda.D.Ellison@usace.army.mil;
Subject: Culebra Project Upcoming Work and RAB Meeting

Dear Team....Hope this email finds you all fine. I would like to brief you
on the latest developments of the Culebra Project, since it has been a while
since we last met.

I just want to let you know that we have a contractor ready to mobilize to
Culebra starting the week of 18 October. The contractor name is EOTI and he
is in Puerto Rico this week buying supplies at local hardware stores to
bring to Culebra. On 18 he'll be in Culebra. He hired a local Biologist
(with the approval of FWS) to help him with endangered species and local
coordination. EOTI was awarded MRSs 2 a small upper part of Cerro Balcon
and some Cayos; MRS 4 (most of FWS grounds), MRS 5(Cerro Balcon) and MRS 7
Culebrita. EOTI will take Parsons study and other contractors' work one step
further along the CERCLA process. He'll be doing a Remedial Investigation/
Feasibility Study at these locations.

Besides EOTI we awarded one to USA Environmental that will look into the
other MRS and water areas..USA Env will mobilize in January 2011; we also
awarded a contract to CH2MHILL to look into the areas by DNER across ARDEC
and FWS..I will brief you on these projects.

On Nov 3 at 6:30PM we intend to go back to Culebra and to meet with you all
and have another RAB meeting and explain the scope of the 3 ongoing
contracts, Tom Freeman and Amanda Ellison will be there with me. Most of you
know Tom, since he is the one who knows the Culebra Project the best, having
done the original archive search, and Amanda is from Jacksonville's Public
Affairs office, since as you might know Elsa Jimenez, our Public Affair
retired and is no longer with us so Amanda is pitching in for her, and Tom
was appointed PM for Culebra replacing Ms. Daphne Ross...

We will like to gather as many residents as possible, but especially Im


counting seeing you who are those RAB Members that have been with us during
the past years!!I look forward to see you all..

Again, I hope this email finds you all fine!!!

Pls drop me a note if you have any question!!

Jose M. Mendez, PE, MBA


Project Manager,
Interagency International Br
US Army Corps of Engineers
400 Fernandez Juncos San Juan, P. R. 00901

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(787) 729-6877, 75,76 x 3099, Cell. (787)340-6416


Fax (787)289-7975

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From: Postmaster@fws.gov (Postmaster@fws.gov)


To: coralations@yahoo.com;
Date: Fri, October 15, 2010 2:01:10 PM
Cc:
Subject: DELIVERY FAILURE: Error delivering to Ana Roman/R4/FWS/DOI; Router: Database disk quota
exceeded (Your message was not delivered because the recipient’s mail file was over quota)

Note: Forwarded message is attached.

Your message

Subject: Re: Culebra Project Upcoming Work and RAB Meeting

was not delivered to:

Ana_Roman@fws.gov

because:

Error delivering to Ana Roman/R4/FWS/DOI; Router: Database disk quota exceeded (Your message was
not delivered because the recipient’s mail file was over quota)

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From: Postmaster@fws.gov (Postmaster@fws.gov)


To: coralations@yahoo.com;
Date: Fri, October 15, 2010 2:01:10 PM
Cc:
Subject: DELIVERY FAILURE: Error delivering to Susan Silander/R4/FWS/DOI; Router: Database disk
quota exceeded (Your message was not delivered because the recipient’s mail file was over quota)

Note: Forwarded message is attached.

Your message

Subject: Re: Culebra Project Upcoming Work and RAB Meeting

was not delivered to:

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because:

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