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San Francisco is home to the former Hunters Point Shipyard. Once called “the world’s greatest shipping yard,” it was declared a federal Superfund site in 1989, defined by USEPA as “one of the nation’s most contaminated lands.” Contaminated by radioactive and toxic waste from decades of military and industrial use, including toxic metals, PCBs, radionuclides, pesticides and volatile organic compounds. Numerous studies document Southeast SF is burdened by adverse health impacts due to cumulative exposures to toxic air pollution, carcinogens and industrial waste.
Despite an original agreement to hold negotiations between the PMA and the ILWU negotiating committee in secrecy, which has been upheld on the union’s side since the contract expired on June 30, the PMA has chosen to go public with their offer in an attempt to negotiate the contract through the media. In taking these steps, the PMA is putting out an all or nothing proposition and challenging the union’s right to negotiate the contract under normal fair bargaining practices.
The headline, “Biological bad luck blamed in two-thirds of cancer cases, researchers say,” has received very wide coverage. Tell that to the people living at Hunters Point! If one ignores chemistry, biology, physics and history, then one might believe it. It matters little whether exposures occur at home, workplace or neighborhood – it is not bad luck, it is exposure to carcinogens, and they are additive and cumulative.
In its comments on the Candlestick Point-Hunters Point Shipyard Environmental Impact Report, POWER focused on the carcinogens and radiological contamination at the Shipyard; the dangers of liquefaction; climate change and sea level rise; transportation impacts from the proposed development; the connection of the development to the existing community; and the preservation of historic Ohlone sites.