KCBS Radio/Megan Goldsby

Lingering Worries For Residents Of San Francisco's Hunters Point

Discussion Of New Development Takes A Back Seat At Navy's Open House

Megan Goldsby
July 12, 2018 - 9:47 am

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS Radio) - Navy officials came to San Francisco's Hunters Point on Wednesday to talk about upcoming radiation testing and the planned clean up of an undeveloped parcel of land at the old shipyard there.

But what residents who attended that meeting really wanted to talk about was Parcel A, the first piece of land to be developed at the site after the Navy ceased operations there.

Michelle Pierce, with Bayview Hunters Point Community Advocates, said Parcel A has been plagued with problems for decades. "We know what's here, but this is now historical knowledge, like oral stories passed on from people to people at this point because everybody has died."  

She said it's hard to believe what the Navy has to say now about upcoming radioactive soil testing and the restoration effort targeting undeveloped land, given the problems over recent testing by Tetra Tech. That's the company that had been in charge of clean-up at Hunters Point whose supervisors eventually admitted to falsifying records.

Residents expressed concern that the rush to create additional housing in San Francisco is leading developers to downplay possible health concerns about building on contaminated land. Pierce said that the land "is going to get developed despite the fact that it's still dirty." She called the process "anything but transparent."

The Navy's Derrick Robinson insisted the land consisting of Parcel A is clean, and that other parcels to be developed will be clean and safe.  He said they'll retest Parcel A to allay residents' concerns as well as portions of land previously tested by Tetra Tech.

"We're here in the community, we're answering questions, we're all public servants just trying to take what really isn't a great situation and move it forward," Robinson said. "If there's something there we didn't know about, the scanning is absolutely going to find it - and we'll have to reevaluate if we do find anything." 

"They should trust us. I ask people to trust us," Robinson said.