Former Naval Shipyard Hunters Point

Hunters Point Shipyard Parcel A

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 Hunters Point Naval Shipyard       
Residents' Safety Residents' Safety | History | Additional Review  | Survey Data 
Parcel A Today | Public Safety |  More Information  | FAQ Interactive PDF file

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  This page provides information about the Navy's cleanup and transfer of HPNS Parcel A.

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. 

 

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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 into 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.

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

 

In  2002, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) 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 (or 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.

Building 322 at Parcel A was scanned 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 located was cleared and did not pose a risk to human health or the environment.   

Parcel A was approved for transfer by regulatory agencies, including the EPA and 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.

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  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. 
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Parcel A Today 
 

Since the transfer of Parcel A, townhomes and condominiums have been built on the property, offering owners and residents new 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 over twenty years, more than 300 artists have sublet studios in buildings on HPNS, making it the largest group of independent studios in the United States. 
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  No Health Concerns for Parcel A Residents 

 

Public safety is the Navy’s highest priority.  In addition to the repeated investigations and confirmation of no risk at Parcel A, the Navy is managing fieldwork on the other parcels at HPNS to ensure public safety.

In areas where soil contamination was found and environmental work was required, HPNS has a cover that limits any direct exposure to original soil. This cover is either asphalt or a clean imported soil layer that has been vegetated.  In areas where Navy excavations are underway, daily upwind and downwind air monitoring is conducted by the Navy, and independent samples are taken periodically by regulators. Both Navy and regulatory samples have confirmed the effectiveness of dust control measures. Investigations show that there is no risk for people who live, work, and visit HPNS and adjacent properties.

While groundwater on Parcel A has never been found to contain hazardous levels of contaminants, groundwater from HPNS is not used.  San Francisco Public Utilities Commission pumps water to the site and surrounding area for drinking, showering, and other uses. As a result, residents, tenants, workers and the general public are not likely to come in contact with HPNS groundwater, located at least 7 feet below ground surface at Parcel A. 
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  For More Information 

 

The Navy has a dedicated page with information and resources on the radiological data evaluation at www.bracpmo.navy.mil/hpnsrc 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 Kathryn.higley@oregonstate.edu or (541) 737-7063.  You can also contact the Navy’s HPNS Community Liaison, James Bryant, at community@sfhpns.com or (415) 970-9051. 
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