2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 2 Oct 2003 18:34:08 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Fire in the Shipyard
Fire in the Shipyard
by Maggie Rivera
Hundreds of families live just up the hill from last week’s fire in the
Hunters Point Shipyard.
October 1, 2003

Hunters Point – Imagine living on a hill above a decommissioned naval
shipyard and one day seeing plumes of multi-colored smoke rise into the
air from a fire in the shipyard’s toxic landfill? A huge blaze on
Saturday, Sept. 12, at the Hunters Point Shipyard, one of the country’s
most toxic and radioactive Superfund sites, brought no official
announcement from the U.S. Navy and no newsman, no cameras and no
special newscast. This picture was taken with my personal camera.

The Bayview Hunters Point community is constantly being questioned and
studied to find out why we have such frightening rates of birth defects
and breast, cervical and colon cancer, not to mention the upper
respiratory illnesses that the men, women and children in my community
are suffering from.

The Hunters Point Shipyard comprises some 638 acres where the Navy’s
Radiological Defense Lab was located, where the ashes of toxic waste lie
everywhere and toxic air is constantly blowing. The Shipyard’s closure
in 1994 left behind one of the worst toxic waste dumps of nuclear and
chemical pollution in the U.S.

In 1994, a lawsuit filed against the Navy with the U.S District Court in
San Francisco charged the Navy with 19,000 violations, yet in 2003 our
families are still not protected from this exposed environmental
injustice. Our children are still playing beside a nuclear
carrier-capable dry dock, as the Navy calls it. “Toxic waste dump” is
what we call it.

This fire could have cost an entire block of families their homes. The
only thing to protect them from the flames was a chain link fence that
has been repaired numerous times, which leads me to believe the Navy
protects the land from the people, not the people from this contaminated

This article can be viewed at:

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