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Volume 42, July 2001

Table of Contents

Budget Shortfall for Alameda Point Superfund Work - 144 Million Dollars needed to meet 2009 Cleanup Date

The Navy's toxic cleanup program provided a presentation at the July RAB meeting on both the current fiscal year budget and the projected future annual budgets. The presentation showed 144 million dollars, 68 percent of the remaining costs, occurring after 2007. This raises serious doubt that the Navy will achieve its stated cleanup objective, completing all work by the year 2009.

The current 2001 fiscal year is adequately funded at 36.5 million dollars. This level of annual spending is required every year between now and 2009. During 2001, $20 million dollars will be spent on actual cleanup activities. The remaining $16.5 million will be spent to continue investigations that the Navy started 20 years ago. The projected budget for the navy's cleanup program is provided below.

Fiscal Year Budget
Actual 2001 $ 36,500,000
2002 $ 11,100,000
2003 $ 4,500,000
2004 $ 2,300,000
2005 $ 1,100,000
2006 $ 1,300,000
2007 $ 11,300,000
Beyond 2007 $ 144,488,024
Total $ 212,588,024

SF Bay Guardian reports Alameda Point is "Hot Property"
Editor Encourages Local Officials to Resist Development Pressures

On its cover, in its editorials and most importantly in its feature story, the July 4 issue of the Bay Guardian has told a story that was begging to be told. The Alameda Point Naval Air Station is a "toxic disaster area." Particularly, troubling is the story about Marina Village Family Housing and the Navy's, EPA's, and Cal-EPA's less than complete answers to the reporters questions. Link to the Bay Guardian story here.

George Miller Elementary School Sampled for Toxins
Safety of School Still in Doubt

George Miller Elementary School located in the Coast Guard Housing Area was sampled again for toxic contamination on June 16, 2001. The Navy promised that the results of the sampling would be provided to the school district on August 13. Miller School was built on top of a former military storage area where hazardous materials and wastes were stored and handled. The Navy has represented that benzene contaminated groundwater is found beneath Miller School buildings and playgrounds but has never actually sampled groundwater at the site.

Quote of the Month

"Emerging from this investigation is a not-so-pretty picture of a bumbling naval operation and blind federal and state regulators."

AC Thompson of the SF Bay Guardian reporting on the results of his look at seldom-reviewed Navy, federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state documents about the Alameda Point cleanup.

Toxic Investigations and Development Don't Mix
City of Alameda Relies on Outdated Information

At the June 2001 Alameda Point RAB meeting Clearwater Revival Company made several complaints about the City of Alameda's activities at Alameda Point. One complaint was the illegal disposal of contaminated groundwater in San Francisco Bay by the Alameda Power and Telecom during dewatering of a man-hole. The City of Alameda indicates that the utility was unaware that the man-hole was located in Toxic Waste Site 26 because they were using an outdated toxic sites map.

The City of Alameda also responded to a complaint the contaminated soil was disturbed at Parcel 138 an unpaved area located along on the east side of the Seaplane Lagoon. The city leased this 5-acre parcel for construction of an off-road vehicle course. The City indicates that their consultant reviewed Navy sampling data from Parcel 138 and concluded that the vehicle course did not pose a risk to human health and the environment.

The Navy sampling data from Parcel 138 was collected in 1994 and 1995. The data showed shallow soil contamination. The city's consultant, apparently relying exclusively on this five year old information, said: "looks safe to me." Not quite the current professional practice for evaluating environmental conditions of property.

What was Parcel 138 used for in the last 5 years? Illegally storing 4,000 tons of contaminated soil from the removal of underground storage tanks at Alameda Point. In other words any sampling of this property prior to 1998 is unreliable, and it was inappropriate for the City's consultant to use this information to evaluate Parcel 138. In fact, at the June RAB meeting were the complaint was made, the Navy distributed an updated map that showed Parcel 138 was now included in Corrective Action Area 11, a petroleum spill cleanup site.

Piles of contaminated soil from leaking underground storage tank sites were stockpiled at Parcel 138 near the Seaplane Lagoon for several years before being disposed of on base at Parcels 12A, 13, 14, and 15.

Question Authority
"Why don't you try source removal before contaminant recovery?"

The Navy, Cal-EPA and US EPA are planning cleanup of lead contaminated soil beneath rusting water towers and radio antennas at Alameda Point. There are no current plans to stabilize the pealing paint or removal the towers and antennas before the work begins. In other words the soil beneath the towers and antennas will simply become re-contaminated as paint continues to peel from the towers. Contact the Navy, Cal-EPA, the US EPA and the City of Alameda. Ask them: " Why don't you try source removal before contaminant recovery?"

The Environmental Justice Progress Report is the newsletter of West End Concerned Citizens (WECC). WECC has been monitoring the toxic cleanup planning process at the Alameda Point Naval Air Station (NAS) since 1995. Our community members have become increasingly frustrated at the lack of response to the public's concerns, the inadequate information provided to the public, and the lack of opportunities for the public to participate in the decision making process.

To receive a free copy of the this monthly report of for more information, please contact us at ejpp@toxicspot.com.

May 2001 Edition
July 28, 2001