— SF Bay: Fraud and coverup by Tetra Tech, state, and feds at Superfund sites Hunters Pt and Treasure Island; Navy poured radioactive waste down drains; residential and commercial development planned by city and Navy on contaminated land

From Labornet:

Posted July 4, 2017

“Cleaning The Swamp” Hunters Point Tetra Tech Workers Blow Whistle On Criminal Cover-up & Corruption

Published on Jul 4, 2017

Hunters Point and Treasure Island Tetra Tech health and safety inspectors spoke at a press conference at the former San Francisco shipyard and superfund toxic dump site on June 27, 2017 about the systemic criminal cover-up by the company, the Navy of serious radioactive contamination at the site and failure to rectify it. They were bullied and terminated when they reported the fraud and malfeasance by the management and officers of the company. Green Action has filed an administrative petition to halt the use by the Navy of this corrupt contractor. Other community health advocates talked about the environmental racism and the serious health conditions and deaths by the residents.
They also called for a criminal investigation by the San Francisco District Attorney Gascon and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to investigate Tetra Tech and criminally prosecute them for fraud and corruption.
Additionally, Michael Madry a former quality assurance manager of Test America who was verifying the testing procedures at Hunters Point and Treasure Island noticed serious falsification and reported this to the management and OSHA. He was terminated because of his health and safety reports and Darrell Whitman who was an investigator with OSHA and the Whistleblower Protection Program was harassed and bullied by his supervisor for investigating the case. OSHA chief David Michaels and Department of Labor Secretary Tom Perez conspired to prevent an investigation of the corruption at these agencies, supported his termination and allowed collusion with H.I.S. the then owner of test America and other companies that they are supposed to regulate.
Additional media:
http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_YVo…
https://youtu.be/-EbkG4aQM1w
http://sfbayview.com/2017/06/whistleb…
http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/…
http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/…
https://soundcloud.com/workweek-radio…
https://soundcloud.com/workweek-radio…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzfFB…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQ3zi…
https://soundcloud.com/workweek-radio…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQiB7…
http://www.nbcbayarea.com/investigati…
http://www.dailycensored.com/ohsagate/
http://issuu.com/injuredworkersnation…
http://issuu.com/injuredworkersnation…
http://issuu.com/injuredworkersnation…
http://issuu.com/injuredworkersnation…
http://www.fairwarning.org/2016/04/ex…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQiB7…
http://www.capoliticalreview.com/capo…
http://sfbayview.com/2009/04/digging-…
https://ww2.kqed.org/news/2016/07/22/…
Production of Labor Video Project
http://www.laborvideo.org

http://www.labornet.org/

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— San Francisco: EPA & Navy used wrong and unsafe standard for radioactive/toxins cleanup; EPA Superfund manager stonewalls at public meeting

Lily Lee, EPA Cleanup Project Manager, Superfund Division
Interviewed on February 8, 2017 at a community meeting on the cleanup problems and fraud at the San Francisco Superfund site. The Superfund site is located at the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard and Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory.

Ms. Lee was interviewed by Labor Video Project, and then asked questions by Dan Hirsch, UCSC Executive Director on Environmental and Radioactive Policy, on the cleanup and EPA exposure guidelines. Her answers, as Superfund Cleanup Project Manager, are surprising.

This is why these agencies organize “poster” open house format meetings. They do not want to be asked these important questions in front of an audience, and they certainly don’t want to be forced to answer. Of course, as public employees, they don’t want to be seen as avoiding or stonewalling, and they certainly don’t want to go on the record admitting negligence or indifference in implementing rules.

In a meeting in another town on a public health issue, members of the public refused to put up with this style of format. They pulled chairs into the center of the room, sat down as a group, and demanded to have a presentation made to them as a whole. Rather than do that, the people in charge gathered up their materials and walked out. Unless forced, they will not submit to a regular meeting format.

https://youtu.be/J_YVou0kmQI

Interview of Lily Lee, EPA, begins at 29:13

This transcript begins toward the end of her interview with Labor Video Project

Lee: …We are here to say that I am doing my job every day the same way I have been and I will keep doing so to ensure that the cleanup here is meeting all of the health-based standards

LVP: I understand that 50% of the black population, African-American population, their children have asthma and other toxins from living out here. Is that of concern to you?

Lee: What we do here is that we set the standards for cleanup based on health-protective levels and then we ensure that when the Navy’s cleanup is happening, both during the process and when they’re done, that it meets our health-based standards to protect people from health conditions such as asthma.

[“Health-protective levels” and “health-based standards” — The EPA has repeatedly loosened exposure guidelines for radioactivity which they acknowledge increases the percentage of the population that will develop cancer. If the EPA uses these terms often enough, do they believe they will become accurate?

Her following interchange with Dan Hirsch reveals that she does not enforce EPA’s own standards, and she further says that steady exposure to radiation at the level of 25 millirem is something the body can cope with.]

Hirsch: Did the EPA’s criteria in effect at that time — I’m not talking about doing an analysis years later that it wasn’t that big of a mistake — why was the mistake made in the first place? Why did EPA allow clean-up standards that were contradicting EPA’s then current standards?

Lee: And again, I wasn’t there at that time and I tried to look for records about this information, and I’ve unfortunately not been able to find those records, but what I can tell you is that I am looking at the current standards, the current PRG calculator which is unfortunately in flux right now, and we are looking to see, revisit these standards to determine whether or not they would fall within the circle risk (?) range using site-specific factors.

Hirsch: I mean, you know you’re playing a game about this over and over again. The public was told you were cleaning up to a one in a million risk. You’ve seen EPA standards, but it turns out the Navy didn’t do that and used standards that are very much weaker than the ones that they said they would be using, and EPA said should be used at that time.

You’re now saying you’re seeing whether, okay it was a mistake but whether the mistake was mistake of a 300 fold. That isn’t very reassuring to the public.

I want to come back to the central issue. Do you agree that 25 millirems should not have been used, that was, even at the time, something the EPA said that was not acceptable and not protective.

Lee: I want to explain that some of the language that you saw in the footnotes referenced the 25 millrems but wasn’t necessarily the only standard that the Navy would be required to meet that

Hirsch (interrupting): In the tables, they actually estimate the dose for the other standard that they met, and for several of those, that was 25 millirem. So they actually did use 25 millirem. They shouldn’t have

Lee (interrupting) ___waste?

Hirsch: And structures.

Lee: Okay, and structures.

Hirsch: And they’re not supposed to according to EPA guidelines.

That’s 12 chest x-rays a year. They’re saying it’s okay for people to get a chest x-ray a month from the moment of conception to the moment of birth. Even the EPA says that level of radiation is outside the upper limit of your acceptable risk range.

So do you concede that they used a cleanup number that EPA said, even at the time, should not have been used?

Lee: So, I would like to talk about the chest x-ray which is an acute dose meaning a dose that people would get in one situation during the chest x-ray itself as being different from what’s relevant here at the base which would be a dose that would be over time continuously across year. So that wouldn’t be something

Hirsch (interrupting): Your own agency says there is no difference. EPA formally said that getting a chest x-ray a month is no different than getting a thirtieth of a chest x-ray every day for those months. That there is no… It’s linear, so the rate at which you get it doesn’t matter.

You know that’s your own agency’s official position.

Lee: So, if you can get a small dose that’s over a period of time, your body does have some recovery and

Hirsch (interrupting): Excuse me, are you saying that EPA believes that radiation is potentially good for you – the hormesis theory? Or that, or are you also saying that the risk is not linear with dose? Because the official position of EPA is just the opposite of what you’ve just said.

Lee: So, thank you for sharing your perspective. I am saying that those kinds of exposures are different, and I am also saying as I have said before that we are looking at the original standards to see if under the current version of the PRG calculator which is going to be changed soon, that that will still fall within the national contingency plan superfund regulation range of acceptable.

Hirsch: I want you to answer once and for all whether the standards that they chose were consistent or inconsistent with EPA’s guidance in effect at the time they chose them. Not whether going back years later and trying to say whether it was a 300 fold mistake.

Was the standard chosen by the Navy and approved by the EPA inconsistent with EPA’s Superfund guidance in effect at the time?

Lee: And I’d let you know that I don’t have information about what the standards were in effect at the time and I’m going to go back and look at that information some more. I’ve done some research

Hirsch (interrupting): ___the 25 millirem was back then considered unacceptable? Back in 2013? Do you not know the ___ in 2013 is not acceptable? So why was 25 millirem allowed to be used?

Lee: As I said, we are going to be checking the current version of EPA calculator

Hirsch (interrupting): Why was a cleanup standard allowed to be used that was not consistent with your guidance? I’m not talking about whether a post doc analysis as to whether it is too huge a mistake. I’m talking about whether it was a mistake. 25 millirem, is it not today, and wasn’t it in 2013, outside the level that EPA said was protective? It was a level that EPA said should not be used for cleanup standards. Am I not right about that?

Lee: I will go back and check to make sure.

Hirsch: Don’t you know that 25 millirem EPA has always, has said for long periods of time and certainly in the last years, is not to be used at Superfund sites?

Lee: I have seen that guidance information before.

Hirsch: Alright. Well, then, let’s just admit, can’t you, that they used a cleanup standard that was incompatible with Superfund guidance in effect at the time. Can you admit that?

Lee: As I said, I will go back and check that information.

— San Francisco Hunters Point land development on hold as falsification of toxics cleanup investigated

Earlier reporting on this situation.

From Hood Online

September 22, 2016

Hunters Point Shipyard Land Transfers On Hold As Toxic Waste Cleanup Investigated

By John Shutt

Regulators from the Environmental Protection Agency and California Department of Toxic Substances Control have told the Navy to stop transferring land from the Hunters Point Shipyard to developers while agencies investigate the extent of the falsification of data about the cleanup of toxic and radioactive materials at the site.

The regulatory action was first reported in the Ingleside-Excelsior Light last week, and stemmed from investigations into Navy contractor Tetra Tech.

NBC Bay Area reported earlier this year that a former Tetra Tech employee said he had been told to swap potentially contaminated soil samples for clean ones, dump potentially contaminated soil into open trenches around Hunters Point, sign falsified documents submitted to the government, and tamper with computer data about radiation levels. Other former workers said they were fired in retaliation after reporting violations to regulators.

The shipyard was declared a superfund site by the Environmental Protection Agency due to contamination from the Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory, located there from 1948 through 1969, and toxic waste left over from industrial use. The Navy is obligated to clean land at the shipyard before it is turned over for development.

EPA regional spokesperson Michele Huitric confirmed that investigations into Tetra Tech are ongoing, and said the EPA was aware of investigations by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Navy. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission previously recommended a fine against Tetra Tech after they found the company had deliberately falsified data.

Part of the shipyard declared safe by regulators has already been transferred to developer FivePoint, a spinoff of Lennar Corporation, which is building residential housing. A FivePoint spokesman said that the Tetra Tech whistleblower reports are not related to Parcel A, the land they are building on.

“Parcel A was transferred in 2004, several years prior to the alleged soil mishandling, and after the Navy, USEPA, and State of California determined the property was cleaned up and safe for transfer,” said FivePoint spokesperson David Satterfield. “Parcel A was removed from the National Priorities List at that time and is no longer considered a federal superfund site.”

Bradley Angel from environmental activist group Greenaction said that he had confronted FivePoint officials at a recent sales event about the cleanup, and had been shown documents that indicated Tetra Tech worked on at least part of Parcel A.

“They took us into the back room and took out three big binders and opened the first one, and of course the first sentence was about Tetra Tech’s work at the Shipyard, but not, of course, about falsification of soil samples,” Angel said.

San Francisco Magazine reported yesterday that a July email from the Navy indicated that Tetra Tech may have done sampling on Parcel A.

Greenaction has called for Tetra Tech to be fired and for an independent investigation of toxin and radiation levels at the shipyard and in the surrounding area.

UC Santa Cruz researcher Dan Hirsch, part of a team preparing a report on the cleanup, said that not only had Tetra Tech falsified soil samples, the Navy has been using outdated remediation standards that allow much higher levels of toxic material than the EPA currently recommends—in some cases about 100 times higher—and radiation levels equivalent to 12 chest x-rays per year for residents.

“We found over and over again that the Navy used standards that EPA said they aren’t supposed to use,” Hirsh said.

Mayor Ed Lee and Supervisor Malia Cohen wrote to the Environmental Protection Agency on Sept. 19th requesting a meeting.

“The environmental cleanup of the property is a critical first step in the process of developing Hunters Point Shipyard—a project that will deliver desperately needed housing and long-overdue public benefits to the Hunters Point community,” read the letter. “For that reason, we are requesting a briefing with senior Environmental Protection Agency leadership, confidential if necessary, so that we may better understand the scope and timelines of the investigations, and any potential impacts to the overall schedule for the delivery of these public benefits.”

The Shipyard development is a major piece of the city’s strategy for developing the southeastern waterfront. FivePoint plans to build 1,400 units of housing on the land that has already transferred, but thousands of additional units are now in limbo.

http://hoodline.com/2016/09/hunters-point-shipyard-land-transfers-on-hold-as-toxic-waste-cleanup-investigated

— Superfund site at Lawrence Livermore Lab under review — Comment Deadline July 1

From TriValley CAREs http://www.trivalleycares.org

Site 300’s Hazardous Waste Operations- Under Review

Updated June 28, 2016

The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has not issued a hazardous waste permit to Livermore Lab’s Site 300 since 1997. After a failed permit process in 2007, in which public comment was taken, but then abandoned and never responded to, DTSC has recently issued a new Draft Hazardous Waste Permit for Site 300.

The High Explosives Testing done at Site 300 (in support of nuclear weapons development) produces significant quantities of hazardous waste, which contains or is contaminated with high explosives and a slurry of other toxins. Much of these wastes are burned in on-site incinerators. Site 300 is a Superfund site, with serious contamination from historical mismanagement of hazardous waste. The hazardous waste operations continue to threaten the environment and human health.

A public hearing was held in Tracy on April 27th in which the present community was given a short presentation and allowed to ask questions. The DTSC was unable to answer many of the questions. Comments were taken on the record.

The public now has until Friday, July 1st to submit their written comment to the DTSC. Tri-Valley CAREs submitted a formal written request to extend the comment period to this date. That extension was granted.

Written comments are to be postmarked or emailed by July 1, 2016 and sent to: Alejandro Galdamez, Project Manager, DTSC Office of Permitting, 700 Heinz Avenue, Suite 300, Berkeley, California 94710 or via electronic mail at Alejandro.Galdamez@dtsc.ca.gov .

Tri-Valley CAREs has drafted a short “sign and send” comment that you can sign and send electronically.

Click here for an English version of the “sign and send” comment that you can download, print and mail in.

Click here for an Spanish version of the “sign and send” comment that you can download, print and mail in. We are in the process of drafting more detailed comments.

Click here for the Draft Permit’s Environmental Review

Click here for the Summary Report of Ecological Risk Assessment for the Operation of the Explosives Waste Treatment Facility at Site 300 of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Click here for the Soil Sample Report In Support of the Site 300 Explosives Waste Treatment Facility Ecological Risk Assessment and Permit Renewal

Site 300’s Hazardous Waste Operations- Under Review