2000 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: Thu, 10 Aug 2000 16:19:20 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Hunters Point Shipyard Cleanup on November Ballot
[This was posted to the list by Nher Sagum, Arc Ecology, arc@igc.org]

The Community First Coalition
5021 3rd Street, San Francisco, CA  94124
Phone (415) 671-2862	Fax (415) 671-2863

Wednesday, August 9, 2000



For More Information Contact: Alex Lantsberg 495-1786, Olin Webb 
671-2862, or Brad Benson 554-5149

Today, August 9, 2000, the Community First Coalition, a network of 
Bayview Hunters Point and San Francisco city-wide community-based 
organizations concerned that the cleanup and redevelopment of the 
Shipyard meets the need of the neighborhood most directly impacted by 
the project, joined with San Francisco Board of Supervisors members Tom 
Ammiano, Sue Bierman, Mark Leno, and Michael Yaki to put the cleanup 
standard for the closed Hunters Point Navy Yard on the November 2000 

"This will be the first time the federal government has faced such a 
public policy statement from a major urban center regarding its toxic 
cleanup program for federal sites," said Saul Bloom of Arc Ecology  a 
co-founder of the Community First Coalition and one of the authors of 
the initiative.  "As such it will be precedent setting, and elevate the 
issue's prominence nationally, which we hope will give the federal 
government a powerful incentive to settle the dispute". 

Tom Ammiano, the president of the Supervisor Board of Supervisors, took 
the lead in circulating and seeking the support of his fellow board 
members for placing this important policy initiative on the ballot for 
this November.  

"The measure will be campaigned for and voted on at the same time San 
Francisco is negotiating with the Navy over the Shipyard's cleanup," 
said Supervisor Ammiano.  "This will place an even greater spotlight on 
the Shipyard's cleanup than it currently has, give the City a public 
mandate for the negotiations, which in turn would enhance our 
negotiating position with the Navy."

"This what the Bayview wants and needs," said Olin Webb, Executive 
Director of the Bayview Hunters Point Community Advocates and a 
co-founder of the Community First Coalition.  "By making the health of 
Hunters Point residents the focus of a city-wide ballot initiative, we 
have the opportunity to educate the rest of San Francisco about the 
problems of the Bayview.  By giving the voters of San Francisco the 
opportunity to stand up for the health of Hunters Point, we also create 
an opportunity to potentially demonstrate to the people of the Bayview 
that the rest of the City cares about their concerns."

"The National Contingency Plan is the mother of all federal toxic 
cleanup regulations, and it establishes community acceptance of a 
proposed standard for a cleanup as one of its nine criteria 
points," said Alex Lantsberg of the Community First Coalition.  "The 
City of San Francisco will now have a chance as a community to voice its 
preference on the level of cleanup.  If the measure passes, as we 
believe it will, the Navy will be confronted with San Francisco's 
overwhelming desire for a legitimately protective cleanup of the 
Shipyard.  This statement would tell the USEPA, the California 
Department of Toxics Substances Control and the Navy exactly what the 
community acceptance means." 

The Community First Coalition would like to extend its warmest thanks to 
those members of the Board of Supervisors who took decisive action to 
support environmental justice for the people of Bayview Hunters Point 
and the City, and bring this matter before the voters of San Francisco.  
The idea to place the matter before the public came up quickly and many 
of us worked long hours to produce the initiative.  Without the support 
of Supervisors Ammiano, Bierman, Leno and Yaki, the citizens of San 
Francisco would have been denied their opportunity to express their 
opinion on this very important issue.  

### END ###

We, the undersigned, submit this declaration of policy for the November 
7, 2000 election:
Declaration of Policy

The People of the City and County of San Francisco find and declare 

The Hunters Point Naval Shipyard was built and operated under United 
States Navy ownership for its entire history.  Under the Navy's 
ownership, the Shipyard became so contaminated as to require its 
placement on the National Priorities List (Superfund) - the list of the 
most polluted facilities in the nation.  Today, the Hunters Point 
Shipyard is the most contaminated portion of San Francisco, and the only 
federal Superfund site in the City.  Residents of the Hunters Point 
Bayview District, the neighborhood immediately surrounding the former 
base, are afflicted with high levels of cancer, respiratory disease, and 
other illnesses.  

In 1991 the Base Realignment and Closure Commission voted to close the 
Hunters Point Shipyard.  The Shipyard's closure and its transfer back to 
civilian use in San Francisco will bring tens of thousands of people 
into direct contact with a federal Superfund site.  Once the site is 
redeveloped, many thousands of people will find a home on the Shipyard 
as well.  The City and County of San Francisco is currently negotiating 
with the Navy over the cleanup standards and the transfer of the 
property. However, two of the six parcels of land making up the Shipyard 
and surrounding Bay are not part of this round of talks, primarily as a 
result of the cost of cleanup.    

While the federal government is required by law to clean up the 
Shipyard, the Navy says it will cost too much to do a thorough job.  
Instead, the Navy plans to leave behind so much contamination it will 
increase the risk for cancer resulting from exposure to the property 
requiring the construction of barriers and restrictions on future land 

The United States government should be held to the highest standards of 
accountability for its actions.  San Franciscans can, under federal law, 
express their preference in this debate.  The National Contingency Plan, 
the regulation that governs the cleanup of a toxic site, establishes 
community acceptance as one of its nine principal criteria. The Hunters 
Point Bayview community wants the Hunters Point Shipyard to be cleaned 
to a level which would enable the unrestricted use of the property  the 
highest standard for cleanup established by the United States 
Environmental Protection Agency. 

Therefore, it is the policy of the People of the City and the County of 
San Francisco to oppose the increased risks for cancer that would result 
from lower cleanup standards; and to support the Hunters Point Bayview 
community's request that the Federal government, through the Department 
of the Navy, provide funds sufficient to clean the Shipyard to a level 
that will enable unrestricted use. 

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