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Related Categories: San Francisco | Education & Student Activism | Environment & Forest Defense | Labor & WorkersView other events for the week of 10/25/2019
|Press Conf SF Treasure Island Danger To Students, Residents & Workers|
|Import into your personal calendar|
|Date||Friday October 25|
|Time||11:00 AM - 12:30 PM|
|Event Type||Press Conference|
|Organizer/Author||Defend Public Education Now|
SF Treasure Island Life Learning Academy
651 8th St. Bld 229 near Avenue H St
Treasure island San Francisco
6/25 Press Conference SF Treasure Island-DANGER TO THE STUDENTS, RESIDENTS & WORKERS At San Francisco Treasure Island & Hunters Point Shipyard
Friday October 25, 2019 11:00 AM
Press Conference SF Treasure Island Life Learning Academy
651 8th St. Bld 229 near Avenue H St
Treasure island San Francisco
United Public Workers For Action
Defend Public Education Now
For more info:
info [at] upwa.info
Press Conference At Charter School On Dangerous Radioactive Contamination At Treasure Island & Threat To Children, Students and Worker
Life Learning Academy
651 8th St. Bld 229 Near H St.
Treasure Island San Francisco
Francisco Da costa Director of Environmental Justice Advocacy
Carlos Taboada, Defend Public Education NOW
Joel Ventressca, Candidate For San Francisco Mayor
Steve Zeltzer United Public Workers For Action
Dr. Larry Rose Former Medical Director Cal-OSHA
Bob Coleman, Candidate For SFUSD Board of Education, Artist & Editor
Without any health and safety oversight, the San Francisco Unified School District has allowed the construction of a charter school Life Learning Academy on Treasure Island which is a Superfund site. The students and staff have been contaminated by radioactive contaminants, massive amounts of peeling lead paint which is only a short distance from the school and uncovered removal of contaminated Treasure Isand earth next to the school without any coverage of the soil for protection.
The “clean-up” by Tetra Tech and Test America of San Francisco's Treasure Island has found to be fraudulent and faked by these companies. Tetra Tech workers like Robert McLean discovered significant highly radioactive contamination in the former US Navy Testing and Training Center for dealing with radioactive contamination from nuclear radioactive material. Thousands of sailors were contaminated as well as their families who lived on the Island the residents of Treasure Island.
Tetra Tech presently has two managers in prison for coercing Tetra Tech workers to falsify information at the testing at Hunters Point. Tetra Tech along with the Navy has publicly argued that the Island is now “safe”. Participants in the press conference will discuss the continued health and safety dangers including at the charter school Life Learning Academy where young students have been subject to contamination from the shipyard radioactivity and the toxins being released in the present redevelopment plans.
Mayor London Breed, Governor Gavin Newsom, Senator Kamala Harris, Senator Dianne Feinstein and Nancy Pelosi have all been involved in support of the development of Treasure Island along with Hunters Point Shipyard and are aware of growing number of residents and workers who have become sickened with cancer and other illnesses caused from contamination. Tetra Tech and Test America Whistleblowers who protested the failure to properly clean up the shipyard have also been bullied and fired. Mayor London Breed and other politicians continue to support the billion dollar Eco-fraud. development of the Hunters Point shipyard with City, State and Federal funds including the over $300 million of US Navy funds spent on the supposed cleanup at San Francisco Treasure Island. There is still radioactive material on the site despite the supposed the remediation and approvals by the State of California agencies which are in charge of doing the oversight. of the clean-up.
Cal-OSHA. other state agencies along with. Federal OSHA at present has also refused to do any investigation of the health and safety problems for workers, residents, and students despite their legal responsibilities at this Superfund site. They have also refused to investigate the illegal retaliation of Tetra Tech whistleblowers. This will also be illuminated at the press conference.
The California Department of Education which has oversight of this charter school has also failed to investigate the dangers to the students as a result of the serious health and safety problems at the charter school which is funded by public funds from the SFUSD.
Under CA proposition 39 funded and written by Netflix billionaire Reed Hastings charter schools are exempted from the Field Act which prevents public schools being built in toxic dumps or superfund sites which is what Treasure Island is.
*Speakers will only be on the site for only 1.5 hours due the dangerous conditions of contamination and dust from ongoing construction at Treasure Island, Children should not be brought to this event.
What politicians, the Navy and the EPA don’t want you to know: Treasure Island and Hunters Point are equally toxic Superfund sites
"Not A Whisper" Questions Not Asked At Newsom Cox 2018 CA Gubernatorial Debate At KQED
Media silent as Navy digs 1,280 radiological objects from Treasure Island
Treasure Island H&S Whistleblowers, Former TI Residents & Advocates Speak Out On Cover-up
SF Hunters Point/Treasure Island Radiation Whistleblower Speaks Out
Navy altered SF Hunters Point cleanup to cover, not remove, toxic soil
San Francisco irradiates the poor on Treasure Island
SF & CA Politicians and Developers Kept SF Treasure Island Off Superfund List and Requirements
SF’s Treasure Island, poised for building boom, escaped listing as Superfund site
Jason Fagone and Cynthia Dizikes Sep. 19, 2019 Updated: Sep. 19, 2019 4 a.m.
Construction equipment sits on Treasure Island in the shadow of the Bay Bridge tower. The former naval base is bring transformed into a $6 billion development of condos and shops.Photo: Scott Strazzante / The Chronicle
Construction on Treasure Island in San Francisco, Calif., on Wednesday, September 18, 2019.Photo: Scott Strazzante / The Chronicle
Workers prepare soil for radiation testing on Treasure Island on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, in San Francisco, Calif. The parcel, gated off with radiation warning signs, sits near the Treasure Island Waste Water Treatment Plant along Avenue M.Photo: Noah Berger / Special to The Chronicle
San Francisco’s Treasure Island, the former naval base being transformed into a $6 billion development of condos and shops, was once considered hazardous enough to be a federal Superfund waste site but was never officially named one, newly disclosed documents show.
While it’s not clear why Treasure Island was never named a Superfund site, a designation given to some of the most polluted places in the country, the release of the records prompted calls Wednesday from some environmentalists for more federal examination.
However, the island’s developers, who have plans to put more than 8,000 homes on the site by 2035, said the cleanup has been heavily scrutinized and handled effectively by multiple government agencies, dismissing any suggestion that the area is not safe for habitation.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency gives special attention to contaminated sites on the National Priorities List, commonly known as Superfund sites. Cleanups require extensive tests of soil and water and public documentation of those efforts. The owners of the sites usually pay for the bulk of the cleanup while the EPA looks over their shoulder.
The process of listing a Superfund site begins with the EPA’s Hazard Ranking System, which measures the threat to human health and the environment on a 100-point scale. A score above 28.5 qualifies that place for a Superfund designation, which would make cleanup a federal priority.
In 1991, the EPA calculated a hazard score for Naval Station Treasure Island, the base that included all of Treasure Island — the flat, artificial island stretching for 400 acres at the midspan of the Bay Bridge — and portions of neighboring Yerba Buena Island.
The base’s score was 51.78, the new documents show, almost double the threshold for Superfund consideration and slightly higher than the score for the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in the southeast corner of San Francisco, which was named a Superfund site in 1989.
Crowds arrive early on opening day of the Golden Gate International Exposition. Feb. 18, 1939.
But Superfund listing is not mandatory if the score exceeds 28.5, and Treasure Island was never stamped with the classification. Instead of leading the cleanup, the EPA took a back seat, allowing the California Department of Toxic Substances Control to monitor the project.
In 1991, the EPA assessed Naval Station Treasure Island for potential health and environmental hazards from its soil and waste areas, giving it a hazard score of 51.78, almost double the threshold for Superfund consideration.
Photo: The Chronicle
Environmental advocacy groups said the decision led to a dysfunctional and delayed cleanup, making the process less transparent and leaving thousands of Treasure Island residents in the dark for years about contamination near their homes. In 2007, when Navy contractors started to discover radioactive objects across the island that weren’t supposed to be there, the EPA officially remained on the sidelines without ever fully explaining why.
Federal documents about the EPA and Treasure Island were released to The Chronicle and a nonprofit environmental watchdog group, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), under separate Freedom of Information Act requests. The Chronicle obtained related EPA emails and documents through a different request.
Navy used obsolete safety standards in shipyard cleanup,...
“Treasure Island is what we call a ‘Shadow Superfund site’ — a toxic stain that has remained in the shadows,” PEER’s Pacific director, Jeff Ruch, said in a statement Wednesday.
Bradley Angel, executive director of the San Francisco nonprofit group Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice, called on the EPA to reevaluate the risk of the site and investigate the work that has been done so far. “Nobody’s minding the store,” Angel said. “It is just another example of public agencies looking the other way.”
The site’s private developer, Treasure Island Community Development, said in a statement Wednesday that it was “flat wrong” to suggest that the cleanup has been flawed, calling those claims “bogus.”
“Over the past three decades, hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent to identify and remove contaminants per State of California standards in order to ensure the island is safe for development,” the statement said. “The work has been closely supervised by multiple public agencies and reviewed by independent entities.” Treasure Island Community Development said it was delivering “desperately needed housing within the City of San Francisco.”
The records obtained by The Chronicle and PEER do not make clear why Treasure Island never made the Superfund list. But in a 1998 document, the EPA listed opposition from the state as a “moderate factor” for the island not being added to the list. A federal review of the Superfund program later found that some state governors cited “the perceived stigma of (National Priorities List) listing and potential adverse economic effect” as reasons for not supporting listings of eligible sites.
Then-California Gov. Pete Wilson did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The EPA did not answer specific questions about why Treasure Island never made the list, and the Navy did not respond to a request for comment.
An official with the state Department of Toxic Substances Control said a hazard score is just the start of the listing process.
“Recognizing that the EPA implements the Superfund program, the final number in the hazard ranking score system doesn’t mean that one site is more hazardous than another,” said Grant Cope, the department’s deputy director for site mitigation and restoration. “That requires a more in-depth investigation.”
Robert Beck, director of the city’s Treasure Island Development Authority, defended the island’s cleanup and oversight, which he called extensive.
“The Treasure Island Development Authority remains confident in the measures taken by the Navy to identify and appropriately remediate environmental concerns on Yerba Buena Island and Treasure Island and the oversight of those measures provided by the State of California,” Beck said in a statement.
A state official said in a 2017 email obtained by The Chronicle that although Treasure Island isn’t on the Superfund list, “It is still treated like a Superfund site in that it is going through the same stringent cleanup requirements.”
The real estate project could bring thousands of new homes and residents to the area. More than half of the island, now home to about 1,800 people, has been declared free of radioactive hazards and transferred from the Navy to the city. Much of the rest is still being investigated for radioactivity and toxic substances.
The Army Corps of Engineers built Treasure Island in 1936 to host the Golden Gate International Exposition, a celebration of San Francisco’s iconic bridges. Then, during World War II and throughout the Cold War, the Navy transformed the island into a bustling base, where thousands of sailors and civilians lived, worked, trained and repaired ships.
Those activities polluted the land with unknown quantities of metals, industrial chemicals and radioactive substances, some used in training exercises to prepare for possible nuclear bomb attacks.
In September 1991, an EPA employee filled out an 18-page worksheet to determine Treasure Island’s hazard score of 51.78. Noting that the “types of wastes and contaminants deposited on site are mostly unknown,” the staffer assumed that mercury and PCBs, industrial chemicals banned in 1979, tainted some soil. The EPA reviewer called this a “worst case situation,” but didn’t account for the possibility of radioactive waste.
As Navy contractors began investigating the island, according to Navy reports, they found “a broad distribution of chemicals in soil and groundwater” at potentially harmful levels, including PCBs, dioxin, lead and volatile organic compounds. The Navy started to identify and remove tainted soil and sediment.
Later, after the Navy closed the base and the city began reusing some buildings for housing, Navy contractors made a series of troubling discoveries, finding and removing more than 600 individual radioactive objects, some in housing areas.
Still, the EPA kept Treasure Island off the Superfund list. In a one-page 2008 document, an EPA staffer wrote that the cleanup was “making good progress ... under state oversight” and that future evaluations of Treasure Island’s status were a “lower” priority. There are no records of EPA evaluations in the past 11 years.
An EPA spokeswoman said in a statement Wednesday that the agency “regularly checks in with its state and other federal agency partners on the status of cleanup work at this site.”
In May 2014, Saul Bloom, the leader of San Francisco environmental nonprofit group Arc Ecology, wrote in an email to EPA leaders that the agency should re-score the site and potentially add it to the Superfund list. He argued that the EPA was the only institution powerful and neutral enough to find credible answers about contamination.
“The simple fact is we have learned more about TI (Treasure Island) in the past three years than we have in all the preceding ones since the (cleanup) began and the story is troubling,” Bloom wrote. “Right now residents of TI do not know where in government they can go for an unbiased point of view on their health and exposure.”
Bloom, who died in 2016, also submitted a Freedom of Information Act request for documents about the site, asking the EPA for details about its decision to leave Treasure Island off the Superfund list. His questions initially stumped some EPA officials.
“No one is sure if it was ever scored and ranked,” a regional project manager emailed to a colleague in 2014. After doing some research, he added in another email, “The site exceeded the score for listing. I don’t know the history as to why it was never listed.”
Jason Fagone and Cynthia Dizikes are San Francisco Chronicle staff writers. Email: jfagone [at] sfchronicle.com, cdizikes [at] sfchronicle.com
Added to the calendar on Thursday Oct 24th, 2019 6:48 AM
The developer Lennar which is connected to Nancy Pelosi and Gavin Newsom uses Tutor Perini which has a history of racism and corruption in major public construction jobs.
The superfund site which rests on a land filled island is filled with highly contaminated radioactive dirt dust which during construction is dispursed to the students, residents, and workers. Mayor London Breed and DPH environmental health engineer Amy Brownell whose salary is paid for by Lennar refuse to protect the students, residents, and workers.