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Information Repository

South Novato Public Library
6 Hamilton Landing, Suite 140A, Novato, CA, 94949
Hours: Mon, Fri & Sun CLOSED
Tues & Thurs 1:00pm - 8:00pm
Wed & Sat 11:00am - 5:00pm
Phone: (415) 506-3165

All documents prior to 2005 have been archived. The titles of those documents are provided below so that you may request copies from the Navy BRAC Webmaster. Please include the exact title of the document within your request.

High interest environmental documents are currently provided on this website for a temporary basis.  For additional environmental documents, please visit the local Information Repository or the regional Administrative Record.  A link to documents in the Administrative Record is provided below.

DoD HSNG Novato Administrative Record

Parcel A: History, Cleanup and Clearance for Civilian Use

HPNS has an important role in U.S. military history. At the end of WWII through the mid-1970s, the Navy conducted ship repair and maintenance of Naval vessels at the shipyard dry docks. In addition to these activities, part of HPNS was used by the Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory (NRDL) to decontaminate ships exposed to atomic weapons testing and conduct research on the effects of radiation from 1948 to 1969. At various points in its history, the shipyard was also used by private companies for ship repair and maintenance.

Throughout its history, Parcel A was primarily used for residential purposes. Most of the other structures were used as offices and storage. In 1988, the shipyard was placed in the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Program, a federal program created to oversee the cleanup and transfer of military installations to public or private entities for redevelopment. 

In 1989, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) evaluated HPNS and placed it on the Superfund National Priorities List in response to concerns about the effects of past hazardous wastes (such as oils and solvents) created by historical shipyard activities by both the Navy and private companies.

Following its closure in 1991, HPNS entered the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) program, also known as Superfund, a structured cleanup process for past hazardous wastes as defined by federal law.

The Navy followed CERCLA processes to identify and investigate areas of Parcel A that may have had possible contamination and performed additional reviews to evaluate groundwater and soil. Following these investigations, the Navy concluded that there was no risk to human health and the environment at Parcel A, and that no further action was required. Cleanup of the parcel included removal of former underground storage tanks, abatement of asbestos in buildings planned as leased space, and demolition of some structures.

In 1995, Parcel A was reviewed and approved by federal and state regulators after it was determined that no hazardous substances were present. They recommended no further action at that site. Parcel A was approved for unrestricted future use and was removed from the Superfund National Priorities List in 1999.
Confirming Safety: Additional Reviews

In 2002, the U.S. EPA conducted a radiological scanner van survey of Parcel A and navigable roads on other parts of the Former Shipyard.  Scan results from the van survey were found to be within levels attributable to naturally occurring sources.

In 2004, the Navy conducted its Historical Radiological Assessment (HRA), a comprehensive history of radiological operations at HPNS for the period between 1939 and 2003. The HRA was compiled from archival research, interviews of personnel with knowledge of radiological operations at HPNS, and visits to the site. It was determined there was no radiological contamination present at Parcel A.

Building 322, at Parcel A, was surveyed for radiological activity, demolished and removed by Tetra Tech Foster Wheeler (TTFW). The 2004 HRA review confirmed through previous investigations that the site where Former Building 322 was cleared did not pose a risk to human health or the environment.

Parcel A was approved for transfer by regulatory agencies, including the U.S. EPA, the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and the City of San Francisco, and was officially transferred to the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency in December 2004 for the development of homes, parks, and other community resources.
HPNS and Quality Survey Data

After the Navy learned that a contractor, Tetra Tech, EC Inc. (TtEC), had misrepresented radiological sampling data, the Navy hired an independent team of contractors to review and evaluate the reliability of the radiological data collected by TtEC.  This evaluation has not implicated Parcel A in potential fraudulent activities.

The 2004 HRA also determined that radiological contamination is not present at Parcel A.  Building 322 was the only structure on Parcel A that was demolished and removed by TTFW; that area was subsequently evaluated, cleared, and validated by state and federal authorities.  Today, soils associated with the location of Former Building 322 are under a layer of road bed and asphalt in the new roadways leading to HPNS.

To date, no allegations have been made regarding the integrity of any of the fieldwork work conducted at Parcel A.  USEPA approved the original findings, and have taken a close look at results based on allegation, resulting in reconfirmation that the parcel is safe. Additionally, once Parcel A was turned over to the city in 2004, the Navy and its contractors ceased any work on the site.  Soil or other materials from the rest of the base were not used or discarded on Parcel A.
Parcel A

Since the transfer of Parcel A, townhomes and condominiums have been built on the property, offering owners and residents living space and marking a new chapter in the future of the shipyard. The Navy has also leased two buildings on Parcel A (Buildings 101 and 110) to the Shipyard Trust for the Arts (STAR) since 1996. For more than 20 years, more than 300 artists have sublet studios in buildings on HPNS, making it the largest group of independent studios in the United States.
No Health Concerns for Parcel A Residents

To ensure the public has confidence in the safety of the property, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) completed radiological surveys of Parcel A-1 and Parcel A-2 in 2018 to 2019. The effort included radiological scans of all accessible outdoor areas and radiological analysis of 229 dust swipe samples from 77 sample locations within homes and artist studios.

The results confirmed there are no radiological health hazards on the site. Radiological anomalies detected in the survey were determined to be caused by naturally-occurring radiological constituents found in landscaping materials, such as wood chips and fertilizer. One anomalous reading was identified as a historical, low-level deck marker and removed by the Navy. Deck markers were used to illuminate ship pathways during WWII. The 1.5-inch deck marker was found approximately 10 inches below the surface in Parcel A-1 and did not pose a risk to people living or working at Hunters Point. Indoor swipe sample results found no evidence of radiological contamination.

The results of the CDPH radiological surveys can be found in final reports published on its website
For More Information

The Navy has a dedicated page with information and resources on the radiological data evaluation at Radiological Clean-up. This site provides Frequently Asked Questions, Timely Topics, program documents, and meeting materials.
In addition, contact information for Navy program representatives and independent resources may be found on the web page. You can learn more by contacting the Navy’s HPNS Community Technical Liaison, Dr. Kathryn Higley at or (541) 737-7063. You can also email us at or leave us a message on the HPNS Info Line at (415) 295-4742.

For website questions email the webmaster
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