Earth Day appeal to San Francisco Mayor London Breed and the Board of Supervisors: Protect the health and environment of Bayview Hunters Point

by Bayview Hunters Point Mothers and Fathers Committee and Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice 

Earth Day, April 22, 2020

Dear Mayor Breed and the Board of Supervisors,

As you are well aware, Bayview Hunters Point suffers the highest rate of health disparities and the most pollution of any neighborhood in our city.

The California Environmental Protection Agency’s CalEnviroScreen confirmed that Bayview Hunters Point is one of the communities in the entire state most vulnerable to pollution, due to environmental, health and socio-economic disparities.

Residents have suffered, and many have lost their lives, as a result of living next to many pollution sources including radioactive and hazardous waste contamination at the Hunters Point Shipyard, under-regulated industries, diesel pollution and the Southeast Sewage Treatment Plant.

Provide free and accessible COVID-19 testing for all residents

Today, the cumulative health impacts of pollution that harms the community are being exacerbated by the latest health threat – COVID-19.

Despite already being vulnerable, this at-risk community is once again lacking the services and assistance needed to protect residents from the coronavirus, just as our government allowed environmental racism and injustice to continue – and as City Hall approves even more pollution and is complicit in lax cleanup of radioactive and toxic waste in our neighborhood.

On the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, the Bayview Hunters Point Mothers and Fathers Committee and Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice call on the Mayor and Board of Supervisors to take the following immediate actions to protect the health of residents:

1. Distribute masks and gloves to all residents, free of charge. Not only do masks help prevent the spread of the virus, but residents need masks to be able to access grocery stores – a matter of survival;

2. Provide free and accessible COVID-19 testing for all residents;

3. Locate additional Field Care Clinics in order to provide necessary medical treatment and urgent care support;

4. Provide financial support to low-income residents and small community-owned businesses struggling to survive during the current crisis;

5. Provide more information and data on a regular basis about health and environmental issues, and work with the community to properly and effectively address these current and potential future crises;

6. Commit to a full and comprehensive cleanup of all contamination at and near the Hunters Point Shipyard Superfund Site, with full retesting and real independent community oversight;

7. Rescind approval of the India Basin Mixed Use Development as the City’s own Environmental Impact Report confirmed that the project would cause significant, harmful, unavoidable and ongoing air pollution in Bayview Hunters Point that cannot be mitigated to less than significant.

While we appreciate and support Supervisor Shamann Walton’s advocacy for increased services to respond to the COVID-19 health crisis, we call on all our elected officials to also act now to reduce existing pollution and stop new polluting projects that threaten to further harm our health.

For health and justice,

Sabrina Hall, Renay Jenkins and Leaotis Martin of the Bayview Hunters Point Mothers and Fathers Committee

Bradley Angel and Dalila Adofo of Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice