All of the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard must be cleaned to residential standards

Hunters-Point-Shipyard-0310-by-Francisco, All of the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard must be cleaned to residential standards, Archives 1976-2008 Local News & Views

by Francisco Da Costa

The United States Navy is suggesting that all of Parcel B of the Hunters Point Shipyard be capped and in doing so is trying to suggest that the other Shipyard parcels be “remediated” – or “cleaned up” – in the same way.

The Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory, once headquartered in Building 815 at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, conducted thousands of experiments, mostly with huge animals – horses, cows and so on. These animals were irradiated as an experiment. Then, as foolish as the experiments were, so is the way the dead animals were disposed off.

The irradiated animals were buried here, there and everywhere and some thrown in a creek that flowed into the Bay and adversely affected the life in the Bay and more human beings as far away as Marin County. So, many women in Marin County have breast cancer. Wonder why?

By the Gulf of the Farallones, the United States Navy dumped thousands of barrels of what they termed low level atomic waste. Never mind that the waters there were pristine – just like Hunters Point was before it was taken over by eminent domain, then polluted for purposes linked to World War II.

Much before the strangers set foot on Hunters Point there were two huge hills – bigger than Bayview Hill by Candlestick Stadium – and on these hills the First People, the Ohlone, made their abode. On these hills that the present day Muwekma Ohlone consider to be under their patrimonial jurisdiction there were shellmounds, sacred burial grounds of the Ohlone.

Here lies the paradox: Only 20 percent of the land underlying the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard is hard rock, mostly consisting of serpentinite rock and manganese. The other 80 percent is land fill; it was tidal wetlands at one time. If a major earthquake strikes, the land will be prone to liquefaction. What is more, it is especially susceptible to global warming, being on the edge of the Bay and prone to extreme flooding.

Depleted uranium affects the whole Hunters Point Naval Shipyard. More then 56 areas are impacted with various heavy metals, radiological elements, asbestos and other dangerous contaminants. The U.S. Navy has a report called the Final Historical Radiological Assessment. A perusal of this document is very enlightening and also brings to light the tremendous amount of harm caused to the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard and the population in and around it by pollution.

The groundwater at the Shipyard is polluted and the Bay has suffered so much that the whole Parcel F – the portion of the Bay surrounding the Shipyard – is slated to be cleaned. Just imagine if the Bay is to be cleaned – and has not been cleaned these many years – how much more toxic is the land.

The Navy has chosen NOT to archaeologically survey the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard. There is a Federal Mandate and more so since the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe exercised its Right of First Refusal in 1991. I represent the Muwekma Ohlone of all matters linked to Base Closure and more so Hunters Point Naval Shipyard. I have made this request several times and in writing too.

The First People believed in respecting the land, the water, the air, all nature. Unlike the Strangers that are greedy and want it all and have polluted the land, the water, the air and made San Francisco a concrete jungle and have no remorse and further want to pollute it and build homes on toxic land.

The United States Navy has spent over $600 million trying to clean up the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard. Most of the money was wasted – more then $300 million by International Technologies – with little supervision by the United States Navy Base Closure Team in past years.

In recent years it is Tetra Tech – a simple investigation of this company will reveal its tentacles and deep connection with Senators, Congress folks, and of course Regulatory Agencies. Ask them for something and they will take their time – but if Senator Diane Feinstein was to request something – she would get it in a jiffy.

Radiological elements have affected thousands of innocent constituents living in and around the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard. Women in the area have breast cancer in large measure; men suffer from all sorts of cancer, children and women too. Respiratory diseases are very common, bloody noses, skin irritation, severe headaches, and ailments that defy – diagnoses.

The Hunters Point Naval Shipyard has parcel A, B, C, D, E, and F. At least those were the named parcels but they are being demarcated and soon part of Parcel D will be named – G. Then the other parts of Parcel D will be named D1 and D2. I have requested for a map and it is being sent to me – I am anxiously waiting for the map.

Why would anyone think of building a stadium – knowing well that Hunters Point Naval Shipyard is a Superfund Site? The 49ers do not want to play at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard and have made that clear. They will stay in Santa Clara and more power to them.  

“Lennar is drowning in a cesspool of its own creation.”

Lennar the Rogue Company, slated to develop the Shipyard – is declaring bankruptcy left, right, and center – that means they have no money. No institution will lend money to the City and County of San Francisco – not in these drab Economic Times. The SF Redevelopment Agency went begging to Sacramento to the State Community Development Committee only to be told to – take a hike.

The money was earmarked for Lennar who has defaulted on Parcel A and needs the money badly – not to mothball the project. Earlier, it spent over $5 million fighting Proposition F that stands for fifty percent Affordable Housing. I happen to be the Proponent of Proposition F. Lennar is drowning in a cesspool of its own creation. You just cannot fool all the people all the time. You cannot defeat the people who have God on their side. You cannot harm our children and expect good things to happen. Lennar is doomed and doomed to oblivion.

Senator Diane Feinstein, Congressperson Nancy Pelosi, Mayor Gavin Newsom, and before him Willie L. Brown Jr. do not care about any meaningful clean up at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard. They care about GREED and building homes on toxic land more land – laden with radiological elements. Joining them to rip off the people the Pacific Heights Mafia and of course those that keep the people of Palestine subdued.

Forty percent of the Public Housing at Hunters Point – outside the Shipyard, consists of Samoans. No one is consulting them about their health and other issues – linked with Quality of Life. They are all expandable. So are the Blacks, Latinos and other people of color.

The United States Navy is slow to do the clean up – these days billions are spent in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Superfund Monies set aside have dried up. Hunters Point Naval Shipyard is looked upon by folks like Senator Diane Feinstein as an area for Land Banking. Her husband Richard Blum has vested interests. It is all about the filthy rick preying on the poor. Not respecting the First People.

The Navy is trying to convince the community that the Regulatory Agencies will do the right thing. My foot – the Regulatory Agencies have all been bought and more so the Environmental Protection Agency that has its roots in the Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory (NRDL) established at Hunters Point ­ how paradoxical. The other Regulatory Agencies be it the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the Department of Toxic and Substances Control, the SF Health Department with Rajiv Bhatia – one worse then the other.

Bottom line it is about the Moral Compass and the blood that will on the hands of those that do not do the right thing. We know and I know that the land was pristine and belonged to the First People. It was stolen from them and all that I see referenced in gathered empirical data is polluted, filthy, and despicable. Do I have to wonder who is in charge and why would these folks in charge – care for anything – holistic?

Proposition P in the year 2000 mandated all of Hunters Point Naval Shipyard be cleaned to Residential Standards. The Precautionary Principle stipulates that all life – human and non-human must not be adversely impacted and if there is a slight doubt – all work must stop and the required mitigation and abatement be put in place. The City and County of San Francisco brags about it but does little to execute that what is right. Mayor Gavin Newsom talks the talk but cannot walk the walk.

We, the People of Bayview Hunters Point want all of Hunters Point Naval Shipyard to be cleaned to Residential Standards. Nothing less then that will be accepted by us, the knowing, experienced, educated constituents of Bayview Hunters Point.

Finally, a reflection that should be considered very seriously. When Parcel A was transferred to the City and County of San Francisco the Restoration Advisory Board did not sign off on this project. We advise the present Restoration Advisory Board not to sign off on any drab plan that is short of a total clean up and mandates Residential Standards – on all of the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard.

Failure to execute such a plan will force the community to fight those evil elements that are out to destroy our environment and adversely impact the Bayview Hunters Point community and all San Franciscans that voted for Proposition P.

This time around we are organized and the wrath of God will first be exercised and its People will follow and do what needs to be done. Those that follow the evil path will be destroyed and in years to come – you will remember – you were warned but paid NO deed. Aho.