From Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)
Summer 2018 newsletter
Hot Property…in More Ways than One.
Hunters Point is being touted as San Francisco’s biggest
redevelopment since the 1906 earthquake.
San Francisco currently has a severe case of real estate fever,
pricing all but the rich out of its new housing market. The city’s poorest quarter, Bayview-Hunters Point in its southeast corner, is the latest epicenter of development mania. But, there is a big problem.
The Hunters Point Naval Shipyard hosted nuclear weapons work, including supposed decontamination of Navy ships used in Pacific hydrogen bomb tests–which left the shipyard with ultra-high radioactivity. It has been an EPA Superfund site since 1989.
Now, this nearly 30-year radiation cleanup has run off the tracks. PEER has obtained documents showing that the remaining contamination is far, far worse than previously reported:
• Almost 100% of the soil samples taken by the U.S. Navy’s contractor Tetra Tech re-examined by the EPA are “falsified,” subject to deliberate manipulation and “neither reliable nor defensible”;
• Parcels transferred to San Francisco under false pretenses as suitable remain deeply contaminated; and
• Most every Tetra Tech radiation survey on the shipyard’s buildings is bogus.
One of the things that makes these findings so remarkable is that the Navy was on notice for years that it had a major data meltdown on its hands yet is still trying to cook the books. Of course, neither the Navy nor EPA revealed any of this. There are still more shoes to drop and we intend to make Hunters Point the poster child for meaningful Superfund reform.
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Don’t Eat the Tomatoes
In areas of Hunters Point certified as clean, residents are subject to
a curious covenant: they may not grow food unless they import
soil. This raises the question of what is meant by “clean.” It is especially important with respect to radiation, a pollutant that keeps
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