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Environmental cleanup status now a click away

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas (AFNS) -- In the past, getting details on the environmental cleanup progress at an Air Force installation typically called for a drive to the base or local library to flip through pages of documentation. Today, with the help of a new online system, administrative record documents are now available electronically in a centralized location for over 170 active and closed installations in the continental United States.

The online database, available at http://afcec.publicadmin-record.us.af.mil, makes the documents easily accessible to the general public, as well as to regulators and other officials.

Administrative records typically include an extensive array of documents to include records of decision, or ROD, engineering and cost evaluations, site inspection reports, state closure documents, and other documentation as dictated by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, or CERCLA, and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, or RCRA.

"An installation's administrative record is meant to be available for public viewing," said Victor Lyke, program manager at the Air Force Civil Engineer Center's Environmental Restoration Division. "Up until now, the files were typically only available at the base or under limited space at the library. In addition, some bases had a current electronic file administrative record system while others only had little or no established administrative record at the base. Now, electronically, every installation is on the same level."

Electronic documentation is not only more accessible - it saves on storage space at the base and the local library, complies with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980, and preserves the integrity of administrative record documents.

"Having only hard copies available to check out at a base or library means more potential for pages to be damaged or lost, which isn't an issue with the electronic system," Lyke said.

The system is the culmination of a three-year process, which included converting all existing installation documents into electronic files and developing a database for centralized storage. With the system in place, each installation is now tasked with maintaining the files that make up its administrative record.

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