2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 8 Aug 2003 16:56:39 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Army Corps Plays Games On Hamilton Toxic Cleanup
Army Corps Plays Games On Hamilton Toxic Cleanup
By Elena Belsky
August, 2003

The Hamilton Wetlands Restoration Project (HWRP) is an ambitious,
innovative concept that, if done properly, could create a model for
wetlands restoration. Unfortunately, there has been very little done
properly to ensure that the project is completely viable. The Regional
Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB), the Department of Toxic Substances
(DTSC), the US Army and US Army Corps of Engineers' (ACoE) continue to
offer vague, incomplete and incorrect information on the wetlands
project, with the Army also providing mishandled and dubious sampling

Many major issues of concern remain unanswered. Why has the ACoE failed
to provide the project's modeling results to the public? Where are DTSC
and RWQCB provisions mandating that all of the toxics be either removed
or rendered harmless before opening the wetlands to the tidal action of
San Pablo and San Francisco bays? Who would be responsible for toxic
releases into the bay, and what are the contingency plans? Will there be
consequences for the Army for its continued poor data handling and, at
times, flagrant manipulation of data?

Recently, the RWQCB, DTSC and Army concurrently released six highly
technical documents related to the HWRP-nearly all of which had
concurrent deadlines for public review. Citizens complained about this
mass "dumping" as a technique to overwhelm the public, and about
difficulty accessing the documents. Requests for extensions to the
public review periods were denied by the Army (the state agencies
offered no response). Such behavior is not conducive to public
participation. But maybe that was the point as the documents were rife
with serious technical flaws.

Sue Lattanzio, director of Friends of Novato Creek, an environmental
watchdog group, states in their assessment of the state agency and Army
documents: "Overall, it is unclear whether the proposed actions will be
protective of public health and the environment or, for that matter,
exactly what is proposed."

This article can be viewed at:

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