An April 21st article in the San Francisco Chronicle incorrectly stated that excavated material from the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard (HPNS) project had been delivered to Recology facilities in Brisbane. That same article implied that all exported material from HPNS was toxic and/or associated with radiological contamination. As one would expect of their city and its elected officials, the City of Brisbane Council and staff are taking this matter extremely seriously.
Once the article was published, staff immediately began contacting Recology, who was already working to get in contact with the reporter of the article. The reporter shared their source material, and upon review of it, an Appendix to the Response Action Contract prepared as part of the remediation at HPNS, it was revealed that the material was actually delivered to Brisbane Recycling Company (BRC) in the northeast end of the Baylands, and that the material was 40 tons of asphalt. Using the delivery date provided in the reporter’s source material, BRC was able to confirm receipt of that material. Because the trucking company that delivered the material listed its source as “3rd and Evans”, BRC tracked the material to the contractor who performed the excavation, and then reached out to the Department of the Navy to better understand the history of that asphalt. The Navy subsequently provided a letter stating that the asphalt had been placed in HPNS Parcel B-2 in 2013 as a durable cover, was removed in 2015 to allow for the excavation of underlying soil impacted by petroleum, and was “. . . not associated with radiological contamination, nor was Tetra Tech EC, Inc. involved with either project .”
There is no indication in the reporter’s source material that any soil was delivered from HPNS to Baylands Soil Processing (BSP, the dirt pile operator in the southeastern 2/3 of the Baylands); however, the initial incorrect reporting of where the asphalt was from, coupled with the recent news that two Tetra Tech employees had falsified soil testing results at HPNS and will serve jail time, leaves many concerned, myself included, about potential deliveries of unsuitable material to the Baylands. Here is the City’s planned responses to those concerns:
1. Staff will meet with the owner of BRC to review how they track and audit incoming material. The City will require process changes if necessary.
2. We will have an outside engineering firm who has previously worked with us on Baylands issues conduct an audit of BSP to confirm that no export material from HPNS was delivered to the dirt piles.
3. We have asked Dr. G. Fred Lee to develop a plan for analyzing soil samples at BSP to determine the presence or absence of radioisotopes that would indicate the receipt of contaminated material from HPNS.
4. We will modify BSP’s soil management plan to include testing for radioisotopes before soil is moved onsite or exported from the Baylands.
5. The City Attorney will contact the U.S. Attorney and the lawyers representing the whistle blowers on the Tetra Tech criminal case to see if there is any information regarding possible shipment of HPNS material to the Baylands that can be shared with us.
Unrelated to the HPNS/Tetra Tech issue, on the western side of the Baylands, we will also undertake the following:
1. We will meet with UPC and strongly urge them to petition CalEPA’ s “Site Designation Committee” and ask that Operable Unit (OU) 2 in the south be transferred from the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board’s jurisdiction to the jurisdiction of the Department of Toxic Substances Control’s (DTSC), so that both OU1 and OU2 are under the cleanup oversight of DTSC.
2. The City has contracted with Dr. Lee to assist us in the ongoing review and development of the Remedial Action Plan just initiated by UPC for cleanup of OU1.
Safety has always been and will continue to be paramount to the Baylands Project. We’re not experts in soil testing, but we are working closely with those that are. Staff’s full attention has been turned to this matter, and on behalf of the Council, I want to assure you that we are being proactive in learning more, making sure that what gets reported is accurate. This is a serious situation, and on behalf of my fellow Councilmembers, we want to assure you that we are all taking this matter extremely seriously. If you want to receive email updates on the Brisbane Baylands, please sign up on the City’s website here: http://brisbaneca.org/baylands-email-list-sign-up-form.
High School Bus
On May 21st, SamTrans staff met with concerned Brisbane parents to discuss High School bus transportation starting in August 2018. Both the parents that attended and SamTrans reported having a very productive meeting; Brisbane parents were very happy that their concerns were being taken seriously. There are still a number of decisions to be made, work to be done, and alternatives to be explored. At the time of this printing, SamTrans is planning on improving the transfer between the 121 and the 110 routes so that students from Southern Hills won’t miss the transfer. They are also looking at extending the 49 to Brisbane so that students from Brisbane will have a “one-seat” ride to Terra Nova. Additional tweaks will be made over the next few weeks, after which SamTrans will present final routes for the upcoming 2018-19 school year. We will keep the Brisbane Community posted on this issue on our website. If you’d like weekly news updates from the City, please sign up for those here: http://www.brisbaneca.org/weekly-updates-from-the-city.