82° F

Radford Arsenal announces new quarterly public meetings

Published On: Aug 19 2013 11:22:23 AM EDT

In an email Monday, The Radford Army Ammunition Plant (RFAAP) announced that it will be holding quarterly meetings "to engage with the community on environmental affairs at RFAAP."

Last April, at a public meeting, the RFAAP asked community members to fill out surveys; what did citizens like about the arsenal, what could the arsenal do better in terms of community relations and communication between "the environmental team at the Radford Army Ammunition Plant and interested community members."

In Monday's email, the RFAAP stated, "We learned that the most important communication activities are a website, the ability to email questions and have the answers be shared with the broader group, and regular forums."

A small, but vocal group called "Environmental Patriots of the New River Valley," had been pressing the RFAAP to be more transparent in how it handles environmental issues and health concerns put forth by local citizens.

From the Environmental Patriots blog, the group has maintained that the arsenal has not been as open as it could be. The group's entry on March 30 of this year, reads that at a previous public meeting, "...The Arsenal representatives were rude, confrontational and even condescending to the citizens gathered at this community involvement meeting."

This reporter, on several occasions, asked representatives from the RFAAP, if they were considering more public meetings in the future and if there would be more transparency on the part of the arsenal? The RFAAP said it was working towards both, as much as it could allow, considering it is a working federal munitions plant.

Monday's email states that the first of these quarterly meetings will be held September 5th, at 6 p.m. at the New River Valley Business Center in Fairlawn. The meeting will last one hour. Afterwards, the email states that the RFAAP will take questions from the public.