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Release No: 494-95
September 20, 1995


Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Environmental Security/Cleanup Patricia A. Rivers today opened the seventh meeting of the Defense Environmental Response Task Force (DERTF) at Fort Devens, Mass.

The DERTF is a Department of Defense Federal Advisory Committee (FAC) charged with providing findings and recommendations on environmental actions at military installations being closed or realigned.

This meeting will highlight activities at Fort Devens, a recently closed military installation. The site was selected because it offered the members an opportunity to visit a closing installation and view first-hand how the environmental restoration program functions at military installations.

"I commend the hard work and commitment that the DERTF members have demonstrated since the first meeting two years ago," said Rivers. "The same responsibility to community, to finding the best cleanup solutions and to helping other communities succeed is exhibited by Fort Devens. Efforts here to expedite cleanup and facilitate the transfer of property are a model for the President's Five-Part Program,"

The two-day meeting has three main goals: to finalize the Fiscal Year 1995 DERTF Annual Report to Congress; to review fast-track cleanup implementation; and to discuss how to incorporate future land use in the cleanup process. Additionally, board members will examine environmental issues associated with the cleanup and reuse of closing military installations.

According to Rivers, the success of the President's five-part program to revitalize communities affected by closure of installations, and particularly the successful implementation of the fast-track cleanup portion of that program; greatly depends on the partnerships that have been built, not only within the federal government, but also with states, communities, and the public.

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