Former Naval Station Treasure Island

Timely Topics

The Navy has developed the following list of relevant and timely topics about its cleanup program at the former Naval Station Treasure Island (NSTI). We hope that members of the community and media representatives will find this tool useful to better understand environmental cleanup efforts at NSTI.

Topics are in chronological order and introduced with a question, or a brief description of an issue which is followed by a statement from the Navy about NSTI.

Please make this page your first stop when looking for the most current content available about NSTI.

December 11, 2021 (FAQs Updated as of 5-11-21)
Frequently Asked Questions is safe to live on, work on and visit at NSTI.

Statement: 

Update to factsheet shared during the Dec. 11, 2018 RAB meeting, link below.

May 2021, Treasure Island FAQs 

 

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September 17, 2019 (updated 10-4-19)
Facts About a Recently Excavated Low-level Radiological Material at Treasure Island

Statement: 
During routine soil remedial activities, the Navy excavated approximately a basketball-sized amount of soil beneath 10 inches of concrete at the entrance of a residential unit within the former Naval Station Treasure Island (NSTI) Site 12 Housing Area.

Because the Navy’s first priority in the cleanup at NSTI is public health and safety, the Navy has standard procedures in place to conduct radiological scans before, during, and after chemical cleanup work to determine whether any radiological materials are present during the soil excavation.

After removing the concrete, the Navy detected radiation above the background range in degraded material contained in the soil beneath the removed concrete. The Navy then excavated an area roughly 21 inches deep to ensure any contaminated material was safely removed.

Following the excavation, the Navy scanned the excavated area again and confirmed that all contaminated material was removed. The hole was refilled with clean soil and the concrete entrance was repaired.

Based on the results of the pre-excavation scan, which found no elevated radiation levels, and the scan results during the excavation work, Navy radiological health experts are confident there was no health risk to local residents or the public while the impacted material was in place or during its removal.

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Supplemental information added October 4, 2019:

  • On September 10, 2019, during an excavation to remove chemically-contaminated soil within the Naval Station Treasure Island Site 12 Housing Area, a degraded low-level radiological item was encountered at 3 to 13 inches below ground surface and beneath 10 inches of concrete outside the entrance of occupied residential unit 1203-A.
  • The item, which appeared to be a degraded radium painted dial or gauge, was excavated. Additional soil surrounding the material was removed according to standard safety procedures.
  • The maximum radiation exposure reading in direct contact with the degraded material was 300 microroentgen per hour (µR/hr) while the maximum radiation exposure reading at 30 centimeters (cm) was 20 µR/hr. This equates to an exposure of 13 µR/hr in ambient air after accounting for the average Treasure Island background (naturally-occurring) radiation exposure rate of 7 µR/hr.
     

This means if a person was directly exposed to this unearthed degraded material for one hour per day for one year, the total accumulated dose over that year would be 4.7 millirem (mrem) which is about the average dose (4 mrem) a person receives from a cross-country flight from San Francisco to Washington, D.C.

It’s important to note that the 10 inches of concrete in place prior to excavation provided enough shielding such that radiation readings were indistinguishable from background prior to removal of the concrete.

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March 26, 2019
Title: Work Performed by TETRA TECH EC on Treasure Island

Statement: The Navy understands the community concerns related to recent reporting about Tetra Tech EC work at Treasure Island. The Navy would like to reassure residents that there is no radiological health risk to those who live on, work on or visit Treasure Island.

  • The radiological work Tetra Tech EC performed at Treasure Island between 2007-2008 and 2013-2016 was limited to: 

- Buildings 343, 344 and 233
- Site 6 and Site 12
- Monitoring and Compliance Support  

  • Radiological work performed by Tetra Tech EC has been reviewed by the Navy. 

  • Navy supports the ongoing agency review of Tetra Tech EC projects and confirmation of project conclusions. 

For information about radiological work performed by Tetra Tech EC on Treasure Island Click here.

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February 2, 2019
The Environmental and Radiological Clean-up Program at NSTI

Statement:
Public health and safety are the Navy's priorities in the cleanup of the former Naval Station Treasure Island. The Navy understands the concerns raised by residents and community organizations and continues its commitment working with regulatory partners to complete the investigation process and radiological/chemical cleanup. The Navy's goal is to transfer safe and habitable property to the Treasure Island Development Authority that meets all environmental regulations for local reuse and economic development.

The entire footprint of Treasure Island has been evaluated for the likelihood for radiological contamination. Radiation levels in accessible areas at Treasure Island are consistent with background levels throughout the Bay Area. 

The Navy follows a deliberate, iterative and thorough regulatory clean-up process that is defined in the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. This means that decisions are updated over time, as new data or information is collected.  The process ensures regulatory vetting, stakeholder involvement and public awareness about the clean-up actions that are selected and implemented to protect the environment and community prior to any property parcels being transferred to the City of San Francisco for productive reuse. 

Multiple regulatory agencies have concluded that even as clean-up requirements at NSTI evolved, there was no risk to human health and safety in residential areas.  These findings were also confirmed with independent evaluations by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).  The state regulatory agencies, including the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and CDPH, review all work plans, scan results, site information and clean-up data and have not identified any unacceptable risk to those who live and work at NSTI.  While there are certain areas of NSTI that are still undergoing investigation and cleanup, those areas have physical barriers in place to prevent public access.

Naval Station Treasure Island is safe for residents, employees and visitors.  The Navy values the health and safety of the community and will continue to transparently provide information on the remaining cleanup by sharing important updates through the Restoration Advisory Board (RAB), quarterly meetings, Base Realignment and Closure website, newsletters and public notices.

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December 19, 2018
Navy General Statement on Resident and Public Safety at NSTI

Statement: 
NSTI is safe for residents, employees and visitors.

Multiple regulatory agencies have concluded that even as cleanup requirements at NSTI evolved, there was no risk to human health and safety in residential areas from subsurface objects discovered through the environmental cleanup program. These findings were also confirmed with independent evaluations by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).

While there are certain areas of NSTI that are still undergoing investigation and cleanup, those areas have physical barriers in place to prevent public access. If radiological objects are discovered, they are removed and properly disposed.

The Navy’s protocols and the data are reviewed by state regulators, including the CDPH, State Water Board, and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC). Their overarching role in monitoring the Navy’s work is to ensure the safety of human health and the restoration of the environment. The Navy values the health and safety of the community and will continue to transparently provide information on the remaining cleanup by sharing important updates through the Restoration Advisory Board (RAB), quarterly meetings, BRAC website, newsletters and public notices. READ MORE>

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