Panel of Experts from UC San Francisco and UC Berkeley Completes Review of Radiation Testing Procedures at Hunters Point Shipyard
Review found that the State’s scanning of Parcel A was appropriate as a health and safety survey and the Navy’s planned approach to retesting Parcel G is appropriate, pending U.S. EPA’s approval
San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed, City Attorney Dennis Herrera, and Supervisor Shamann Walton today received the findings from University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and University of California, Berkeley experts regarding their review of the radiation testing procedures used at the Hunters Point Shipyard. The Shipyard is the future site of over 4,800 homes, as well as 4.3 million square feet of office and research and development space, 258 acres of open space, and artist, retail, and community spaces.
In response to a request by the Mayor, the City Attorney, and Supervisor Walton, the panel of UC experts independently evaluated the appropriateness of the testing protocols for Parcels A and G at Hunters Point Shipyard. The report concludes that the California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) health and safety scan on Parcel A was appropriate as a health and safety survey. The report also concludes that the Navy’s partial Work Plan and proposed procedures for the retest of Parcel G are appropriate, as long as the final plan meets the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) approval. The report further recommends that any determination as to the appropriate development on Parcel G not be made until all of the retesting data are available for review.
The report can be viewed at www.ucsf.edu/news/2020/01/416471/ucsf-releases-report-hunters-point-naval-shipyard-testing-protocols. Supervisor Walton will host a community meeting to discuss the report on Tuesday, January 28th, 2020, at 7:00pm at 451 Galvez Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94124. UC experts will be available to answer questions about the report.
Mayor Breed, City Attorney Herrera, and Supervisor Walton stated:
“To address concerns and questions from the community regarding the testing conducted at the Shipyard, we asked UC San Francisco and UC Berkeley to conduct an impartial analysis of the procedures for Parcels A and G. Nothing is more important than the health and safety of the people living in the Bayview and Hunters Point, and this community deserves transparency. We greatly appreciate the work of experts from both UCSF and UC Berkeley to conduct a thorough and independent scientific review of CDPH’s procedures for Parcel A and the Navy’s cleanup plans for the rest of the shipyard. The next step in this process is to make sure the residents of the area are informed about the findings from this report and that everyone has an opportunity to hear directly from the experts at UCSF and UC Berkeley about their findings.”
In April of last year, Mayor Breed, City Attorney Herrera, and Supervisor Walton announced that experts from UCSF and UC Berkeley would conduct an independent and objective review of the radiation testing procedures used at the Hunters Point Shipyard. The goal of this review was to determine if the radiation testing procedures established by state and federal regulatory agencies at the Hunters Point Shipyard were appropriate and sufficient.
UC researchers conducted interviews with different entities including the EPA, the United States Navy, CDPH, San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH), individual experts, community members and environmental advocates. The UC researchers also participated in a community listening session coordinated by Supervisor Walton and the Hunters Point Shipyard Citizen’s Advisory Committee to hear directly from residents and community members.
All inquiries regarding specifics about the independent review should be made to Laura Kurtzman at Laura.Kurtzman@ucsf.edu.
BACKGROUND ON THE HUNTERS POINT SHIPYARD
The Hunters Point Shipyard is composed of approximately 496 acres along the southeastern waterfront of San Francisco that will be developed in two distinct phases. At full build-out, both phases of Hunters Point Shipyard will consist of approximately 4,882 units of housing (Shipyard Phase 1: 1,428 housing units; Shipyard Phase 2: 3,454 housing units), 4.3 million square feet of office and research and development space, 258 acres of open space, and artist, retail, and community spaces.
The Hunters Point Shipyard is divided into different parcels that are grouped into two separate development projects: Shipyard Phase 1, also referred to as Parcel A, consisting of two sub-parcels, Parcel A-1 and Parcel A-2. Shipyard Phase 2 includes all remaining Shipyard land.
Shipyard Phase 1 is not part of the federal Superfund site, and has been confirmed by the EPA to be safe for people to live and work. In response to community concerns, the City, federal and state regulatory agencies requested that the CDPH conduct a radiological survey of Shipyard Phase 1. In 2018, CDPH performed a radiological health and safety scan of Parcel A and concluded that it did not pose radiological health or safety hazards. The scope of that work is part of this independent review.
The land in Phase 2 is an environmental “Superfund” site that required extensive clean-up by the Navy. Under state and federal law, a number of regulatory agencies provide oversight of the clean-up of the Hunters Point Shipyard including the EPA and two departments within the California Environmental Protection Agency: the Department of Toxics Substances Control and the San Francisco Bay Area Regional Water Quality Control Board. The City, through the SFDPH, also closely monitors the Navy cleanup. A portion of Shipyard Phase 2 land is now the subject of an investigation into fraud committed by a former Navy contractor, which the Navy hired to test the Shipyard Phase 2 parcels after the Navy completed its environmental clean-up work.
The Navy has agreed to re-test portions of Shipyard Phase 2 land where the former contractor performed work. Parcel G is one of several parcels in Shipyard Phase 2 that is owned by the Navy and will be the first parcel to be retested. The Navy, EPA and other regulators must finalize a Work Plan for each parcel prior to retesting. The Navy has issued a draft Work Plan for how retesting will happen on Parcel G. The Navy has hired new companies to re-test Shipyard Phase 2 land and to provide additional oversight. The effectiveness of the protocol that is being proposed by the Navy and the EPA is part of this independent review.
To date, 439 units have been built with another 66 currently under construction at Shipyard Phase 1. No development is currently occurring on any of Shipyard Phase 2 parcels, and development will not occur until a thorough re-testing of the Shipyard Phase 2 parcels is complete and is determined by the regulatory agencies to be safe. Though the Master Developer has paused all development of Shipyard Phase 2, pre-development work is currently underway at Candlestick Point. Once completed, Shipyard Phase 2 will have 3,454 new housing units and Candlestick Point will have 7,218 new units. Of the 12,100 total housing units, approximately 32% will be affordable. In Candlestick Point, 337 replacement and new affordable housing units in Alice Griffith have been built and are occupied.