Environmental Justice Progress Report
Volume 17, October 1998
NAS CHEMICAL RISK MAPPING PROJECT
Navy's Decision to Fence Estuary Park Ends Exposure versus Closure Debate
Navy Admits it is 16 Months Behind Schedule Three Years to Communicate Sampling Results
1994 disposal of radioactive material at FISC Annex raises concerns about Cleanup
Renewed HOPE Fair Housing Coalition Opposes Catellus' proposed East Housing Demolition
Diversity Alliance Candidates Nights to focus on Environmental Racism in Base Reuse.
Estuary Park's "impenetrable grass cover" was under potentially contaminated water, and the rest of the field was mud when a girls soccer team opened their fall season on Toxic Waste Site No. 25, September 12, 1998. These conditions persisted long enough that during the Base Cleanup Team's (BCT's) visit to the park three days later, they could not be ignored. At the October 5, 1998, Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) meeting the Navy announced that Estuary Park would be fenced off until the investigation and cleanup of toxic waste were completed.
The debate over closing Estuary Park began after West End Concerned Citizens brought the results of the Navy's risk assessments to the attention of the RAB in February 1998. The Navy responded by adding Estuary Park to the list of Toxic Waste Cleanup Sites in May 1998, but the park remained open to residents, and youth sports leagues. In June 1998 the Navy distributed a information sheet that said the park was "perfectly safe."
The Navy's October 1998 decision to close the park was made using information collected in 1994 and 1995. The information on the park toxins was withheld from the public until January 1998. When this sample information was made available, the public immediately demanded the closing of the park .
Thankfully, the RAB was able to take a stand on this issue, despite the lack of leadership shown by the Base Cleanup Team (BCT) consisting of the Navy, US EPA, and Cal-EPA. The BCT's indecisiveness led to avoidable exposure of children to toxic hazards at Estuary Park.
Guaranteed, the BCT would have acted differently if one of their children played soccer at the park.
The Navy has updated a schedule of environmental cleanup milestones that was provided 20 months ago. The updated schedule showed four months of progress in 20 months of effort.
The original schedule indicated that the Record of Decision on the cleanup plans for Operable Unit No. 1 (OU-1 is a group of 12 toxic waste sites) would be finalized in October 1998. This report is now scheduled for completion in January 2000, 16 months later. Along with revisions to the schedule, seven sites in OU-1 have been moved to OU-2, further delaying the cleanup of contamination at these sites.
The Feasibility Study, an evaluation of potential cleanup options for OU-2 (now a group of the 13 toxic waste sites), was originally to be finalized in October 1998. This report is also scheduled for completion in January 2000, 16 months later.
The consequence of the delay has been an increase in human exposure to navy toxic waste and further delays in the transfer of Alameda Point for future economic development.Milestones in Environmental Cleanup Process
The cleanup process will be completed for each of four operable units. An operable unit is a group of toxic waste sites. Currently, 25 toxic waste sites have been identified at Alameda Point. None have reached the first milestone.
- Remedial Investigation Report - results of soil and groundwater sampling.
- Feasibility Study Report - analysis of alternative cleanup strategies
- Record of Decision - selection of cleanup method
- Cleanup Design
- Long-term Monitoring , if required.
1994 disposal of radioactive material at FISC Annex raises concerns about CleanupThe Environmental Baseline Study for the Fleet and Industrial Supply Center, Oakland, Alameda Annex, (FISC-Annex) indicates that "...three pallets of bricks and three small drums labeled as containing 'depleted uranium' were found ..." at a scrap yard at the FISC Annex. The radioactive material which had been "misdelivered" to the scrap yard from NAS Alameda six months earlier, required removal by specially trained radiation technicians.
West End Residents can only hope that the Navy learned how to safely handle radioactive materials between 1994 and 1998, because a major cleanup of radioactive contamination is currently ongoing at Alameda Point. The Navy's recent practices demonstrate the need for continuous regulatory oversight during the ongoing radiation contamination cleanup at Alameda Point. Express this concern to any member of the Base Cleanup Team listed below.
- Steve Edde, Navy Program Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Lyn Suer, US Environmental Protection Agency, email@example.com
- Anne-Marie Cooke, US Environmental Protection Agency, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mary Rose Cassa, California Environmental Protection Agency, MCASSA@HW1.cahwnet.gov
Renewed HOPE Fair Housing Coalition Opposes Catellus' proposed East Housing DemolitionThe Housing Opportunities Provided Equally (HOPE) has been reborn as the Renewed HOPE Housing Coalition to opposes the proposed demolition of 590 three- and four-bedroom housing units to make way for 425 luxury homes. Renewed HOPE sees East Housing as an opportunity to provide immediate home ownership opportunities with $650 monthly mortgage payments. Spending ten years to replace these affordable homes with $3,600 monthly mortgage payments increases the economic burdens of base closing on the hardest hit residents and businesses. Greed is not for the common good.
Diversity Alliance Candidates Nights to focus on Environmental Racism in Base Reuse.On October 26 the city council candidates and October 28 the mayoral candidates will participated with West End Concerned Citizens and other members of the Alameda Diversity Alliance in preelection forum at Chipman Middle School, 401 Pacific Avenue. NAS Base Conversion and the toxic cleanup will be a hot topic.
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Revised October 22, 1998