The Department of the Navy today issued the Record of Decision (ROD) concerning the disposal and reuse of Naval Base Philadelphia, Pa. Secretary of the Navy John H. Dalton, called the mayor of Philadelphia, Edward G. Rendell, to inform him of the Navy's action. The Record of Decision was signed by William J. Cassidy, Jr., deputy assistant secretary of the Navy.
The Record of Decision is the final step in the environmental evaluation process established by the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). NEPA requires federal agencies such as the Department of the Navy to consider the impact that major federal actions, such as disposal and reuse of the naval base, may have on the environment.
The RoD is the Navy's decision to dispose of the naval base property in a manner that is consistent with the reuse plan proposed by the City of Philadelphia. The Department of the Navy has concluded that the City of Philadelphia's proposed redevelopment of the naval base responds to local economic conditions, promotes rapid economic recovery from the impact of the base's closure, and is consistent with President Clinton's five-part plan for revitalizing base closure communities. The President's plan emphasizes local economic redevelopment of the closed facility and creation of new jobs as the means to revitalize these communities.
The RoD is an environmental document. It does not cover the naval base property. Conveyance, or transfer of title, is a separate matter that is being discussed by the Department of the Navy and the City of Philadelphia.
The Philadelphia Record of Decision represents the highly successful and coordinated efforts of Mayor Rendell on behalf of the City of Philadelphia, the Mayor's Office of Defense Conversion, the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, and the Department of the Navy. It is a significant step in the base conversion process because it allows the city to engage in long term redevelopment of the base and highlights the Department of the Navy's commitment to advance economic prosperity at base closure sites.