2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 18 Jul 2003 19:20:51 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Hangar One pollutes marsh
Hangar One pollutes marsh
Navy, not NASA, will decide whether to demolish historic blimp building
By Julie O'Shea
Publication Date: Friday, July 18, 2003

Through two years of bitter disputes over the cleanup of a contaminated
Moffett Field wetland, no one -- not the Navy, NASA, U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency, nor local government and environmentalists --
realized that the culprit for the pollution is a regional landmark:
Moffett's historic Hangar One.

The future of the marsh, which is tainted with PCBs, DDT and heavy
metals, has been a flashpoint for city government and environmental
advocates who object to Navy cleanup plans that will prevent the marsh
from being reattached to San Francisco Bay.

But through the ongoing debates, it was assumed that the pollution came
from past Navy actions on the Moffett runway. But now that it seems PCBs
-- polychlorinated biphenyls, which were used in electronic equipment
and are known to cause cancer and neurological damage - are washing off
the outside of Hangar One and into the marsh with each rainstorm, the
cleanup has been delayed for at least a year.

The mammoth blimp garage was shut down in May after NASA found the PCBs
mixed in with the structure's paint. But even then, it was not clear
that the toxins were washing off the hangar during the rainy season and
into the marsh, which was cut off from the Bay about a century ago by an
earthen dike.

This news, officials said, will delay the cleanup of the wetland until
next summer. to give federal agencies time to set up a system to stop
toxins from running into the marsh.

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