|From:||CPEO Moderator <email@example.com>|
|Date:||1 May 2003 16:27:05 -0000|
|Subject:||[CPEO-MEF] Navy not cleaning Shipyard to EPA standards|
California SF BAYVIEW Navy not cleaning Shipyard to EPA standards Even ‘master developer’ Lennar fears health risk of lax radiation standards Editorial by Ahimsa Porter Sumchai, M.D. The Navy’s seven-year-old effort to transfer a parcel of land on the Hunters Point Shipyard to the City and County of San Francisco for early development has been further imperiled by the recent disclosure that two radiation impacted buildings on the federal Superfund site were cleared for unrestricted use by an outdated cleanup standard that is well below the EPA recommended level and is currently being challenged in California Superior Court. Those who are eager to develop the Shipyard before it has been thoroughly cleaned are facing another, even more serious, setback. A political firestorm was ignited this year in the California state legislature where, according to Navy Low Level Radioactive Waste Program Director Laurie Lowman, seven bills have been introduced that, if enacted into law this fall, would establish cleanup standards for unrestricted use and human occupancy of radiation contaminated property around the state even more stringent than the EPA maximum dose limit of 15 millirems per year. The legal challenges also signal that the current cleanup standards used by the Navy to clear radiation impacted buildings at the Shipyard represent a fundamental violation of the local Proposition P voter initiative adopted by the San Francisco electorate in the Nov. 7, 2000, general election. Approved by 87 percent of the city’s voters, Proposition P explicitly states: “The Bayview Hunters Point 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.” Parcel A of the 936-acre deactivated Shipyard, which is located on a promontory extending into San Francisco Bay in the city’s southeast sector, contains two buildings that were former laboratories and x-ray facilities used by the Naval Radiological Defense Laboratories in the post World War II era until their disestablishment in 1969. Buildings 816 and 821 have been the sites of recent radiological investigations and remediation actions, and both buildings were cleared in the last two years for unrestricted use by the California Department of Health Services using a Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) standard of a 25 millirem per year dose limit. This standard is far more lax than the 15 millirem per year dose limit recommended by Region IX EPA. In a Navy radiation cleanup document released on March 7, 2003, Steve Dean, EPA Superfund radiation expert and head of the Superfund technical support team, commented on the Draft Historical Radiological Assessment, saying, “At this writing, the California Department of Health Services’ use of the NRC’s 25 millirem per year dose limit as its unrestricted use release standard is being challenged in court and by the California State legislature. “I recommend that the Navy use EPA’s maximum dose limit of 15 millirem per year to release buildings at HPS (Hunters Point Shipyard) for unrestricted use until the legal issues surrounding the NRC dose limit are resolved.” The EPA standard is documented in the OSWER Directive 9200.4-18 dated Aug. 20, 1997. This editorial can be viewed at: http://www.sfbayview.com/043003/navynotcleaning043003.shtml ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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