Former Naval Shipyard Hunters Point

Timely Topics

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

Topics are in chronological order and introduced with a question, or a brief description of an issue which is followed by a statement from Mr. Derek Robinson, Environmental Coordinator for HPNS.

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

If you don't find the information you need, please send an email to derek.j.robinson1@navy.mil

October 31, 2018 (enhanced Nov. 6, 2018)
"Navy response about external report on Hunters Point Naval Shipyard Cleanup Standards"

Statement:  "The Navy's first priority in its Base Realignment and Closure cleanup work at Hunters Point is human health and safety. We stand by our existing clean-up goals at Hunters Point, which (are some of the most conservative in the BRAC program and) have in the past been confirmed by expert review across multiple regulatory agencies to be protective of human health.  While different methodologies can be used to calculate goals and risk, the Navy has consistently evaluated EPA risk criteria, leveraged their expert guidance in our calculations, and we work together toward the same goal of ensuring that the property is suitable for transfer and reuse by the City of San Francisco.

As part of the 5-year review process, the Navy evaluates past remedial actions to determine if they remain protective.  Consistent with regulatory agency and public comments on the July 9 draft 2018 5-Year Review, using current risk assessment procedures and guidance, the Navy evaluated the protectiveness of past remedial action levels and will present Navy draft calculations in the 2018 5-year Review.  The next version is expected to be distributed to the public and regulators for further review in November 2018. The referenced EPA comments were accepted by the Navy and the EPA's Preliminary Remediation Goal (PRG) calculator was used to evaluate protectiveness of Navy remedial goals.

The attached table gives examples of the Hunters Point radiological remedial goals and the EPA's PRG calculator, illustrating that the Navy's soil cleanup goals are less than (and therefore more protective) than the EPA's PRG calculator. These calculations were completed and verified by health physicists with decades of training in evaluating radiological risk, and who understand the appropriate application and limitations of the EPA's PRG calculator.  We appreciate the efforts of Mr. Hirsch and his former students to investigate the Navy's clean-up program, but encourage a sound and educated approach to evaluating radiological risk." 

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October 30, 2018
Navy response about external reports questioning validity of the HPNS Historical Radiological Assessment.

Statement: The Navy's Historical Radiological Assessment (HRA) covers 64 years of radiological history from 1939 to 2003 at the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard (HPNS) and is based on expert analysis by the Navy of thousands of historical records and over 150 interviews with people who worked at HPNS. The HRA was prepared by the Navy and was reviewed with applicable State and Federal regulators, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, California Department of Public Health, California Department of Toxic Substances and Control, San Francisco Department of Public Health, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Recent reports from outside groups on the quality of the HRA do not provide any new factual evidence to challenge the conclusions of the HRA. 

The Navy has full confidence in the HRA for Hunters Point as being an accurate and reliable evaluation of impacted radiological sites that have been or are slated for cleanup to ensure the property is suitable for transfer to the City of San Francisco and protective of public health. 

Details about the radiological cleanup of HPNS, including the HRA, are available at: bracpmo.navy.mil/hpnsrc.

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October 10, 2018
Navy response to claims about the radiological cleanup at Hunters Point

Statement: on March 16, 2018, the representative for a former Tetra Tech EC employee contacted EPA Region 9 about claims regarding the radiological cleanup program at Hunters Point. Representatives of the Navy and EPA met with the two parties on May 17, 2018 to visit the site and document their statements. Thereafter, the Navy reviewed the information and developed responses for each claim as follows.  

C1: The concentration of Radium-226, from samples collected at Parcel A, are above the Soil Cleanup Levels according to lab reports provided by the reporting parties.  

R1: The Navy has reviewed these lab reports and determined the Radium-226 concentrations are consistent with ordinary brick and concrete samples. 

C2: Four keel blocks (previously used at Hunters Point) have been placed near the Lennar Welcome Center at Parcel A as landscaping accents. Keel blocks were considered rad-impacted or potentially contaminated because they may have been used during decontamination of Operation Crossroads naval vessels in dry docks. 

R2: The keel blocks were scanned and released as safe. The Navy allowed Lennar to use the keel blocks because they represent shipyard history. They have been rescanned and affirmed safe as part of the radiological health and safety scan being conducted at Parcel A by the California Department of Public Health. 

C3: A former worker claimed that a soil sample collected near the corner of Fisher and Spear Streets was analyzed and had a Cs-137 concentration of about 3 picocuries per gram (pCI/g), which was well above the cleanup level being used (0.113 pCI/g). 

R3: The area identified is located on Parcel UC-1. It will be thoroughly evaluated using soil borings as part of the retesting of the UC Parcels. Soil samples will be collected at the surface and at intervals likely down to shallow bedrock. Additionally, as part of the chemical remediation efforts in 2012, after the claimed soil sample was collected, the Navy removed the surface soil and replaced it with clean import fill. 

C4: The Reporting party indicated observing a dump truck carrying wet soil in February 2018 from Parcel E to a soil stockpile being used by the developer (FivePoint) on Parcel A. 

R4: In February 2018, Parcel E-2 (not Parcel E) soil activities were being conducted by the Navy’s Parcel E-2 contractor. The Navy’s contractor was questioned and has indicated that all soil is being reused onsite as a foundation layer for Parcel E-2 and that soil has not been transported to Parcel A. The Navy’s independent 3rd party oversight contractor has verified that soil did not leave Parcel E-2.  

Note: Claim (C) and Navy Responses (R) 

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October 3, 2018
Navy to conduct comprehensive surface scan on Parcel G, previously transferred parcels.

Statement: The Navy is committed to ensuring the City of San Francisco and the community have confidence in the safety of land transferred from Hunters Point to the City of San Francisco.  In addition to re-evaluating areas where Tetra Tech EC did radiological work as part of the current draft Parcel G Work Plan, the Navy will also be completing a health and safety scan of all accessible areas of Parcel G after the re-testing work is complete and prior to transfer to the City of San Francisco. Similarly, Navy will perform health and safety scans of the surface of Parcels D-2, UC-1, and UC-2 after the reevaluation of Tetra Tech EC's work on those parcels is complete to provide confidence in their suitability for reuse by the City.
 

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September 19, 2018
Where Can I Find Information About the Deck Marker that was Detected and Removed from Parcel A-1?

Statement: The Navy has prepared and posted questions and answers (Q&A) at the following link: Q&A

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September 13, 2018 (updated 9-20-18)
Update on Parcel A scanning 

Statement:  After completing about 90% of scanning activities on Parcel A-1, information collected continues to confirm that area is safe. California Department of Public Health technicians have identified and investigated anomalous readings at twenty eight locations. Twenty seven of the anomalous readings 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. The 1.5 inch deck marker was found approximately 10 inches below the surface and did not pose a risk to people living or working at Hunters Point. The deck marker was located just west of the Department of Public Works trailer, at the bottom of the hill on the north side of parcel A-1, in an undeveloped area behind a fence. Deck markers were typically used to illuminate ship pathways and are similar to the personnel markers clipped to a belt or helmet to enable sailors operating under darkened conditions to identify each other's positions.

California Department of Public Health officials are close to completing scanning of Parcel A and information collected continues to reinforce that the site is safe. For regular updates of California Department of Public Health activities, please see their website at: 
 
https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CEH/DRSEM/Pages/RHB-Environment/Hunters-Point-Naval-Shipyard-Parcel-A-1-Survey.aspx/#  

Related photo links: 1) Deck Marker, 2) Approx. Location

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August 17, 2018
Comments regarding the Draft Work Plan for Retesting Parcel G.

Statement: As part of our efforts to include community and regulatory stakeholder input in developing the path forward for Hunters Point, the Navy is pleased to have received comments on the Draft Work Plan for Retesting Parcel G. Data collected will be used to determine whether the site conditions at Parcel G meet original cleanup objectives and the land is suitable for transfer to the city, or if additional work (including excavation and sampling) is required.

The Navy is committed to conducting 100% of needed remediation if remaining contamination is found.

The Navy will be evaluating the comments received and, as appropriate, incorporate them into a Draft Final Work Plan. The Navy and regulatory agencies will then work together to ensure that the Draft Final Work Plan is legally and technically complete, and initiate the Parcel G retesting program. The Navy appreciates all community and regulatory input on its documents and looks forward to finalizing the Work Plan to enable data gathering at Parcel G as soon as possible.

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August 14, 2018
Information about the drinking water system at Building 606.

Statement: Potable water at Hunters Point is supplied by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and has been confirmed by the San Francisco Department of Public Health as being safe for consumption. If not used, water can sit in pipes for an extended amount of time potentially resulting in discoloration and a higher mineral content which could affect the taste.  

Also, when water sits idle in older distribution systems that used copper pipes and lead-based solder, it is possible that these metals could slowly dissolve into the water to levels that exceed drinking water standards. As a preventative measure, EPA recommends cycling water through the pipes, at the tap, for a short period to flush the system.

In February 1997, the San Francisco Police Department began moving into Building 606. On March 6, 1997, an industrial hygienist sampled water at Building 606 and determined that the water was safe to drink (the report with this information was completed on March 24, 1997). A total of nine water sampling events took place between March 1997 and Sept 1999 at Building 606, all found that the water was safe to drink.

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August 1, 2018
Navy response to media queries regarding Rep. Pelosi’s July 27, 2018 press release at: https://www.democraticleader.gov/newsroom/72718/

Statement:  "The Office of the Naval Inspector General received Rep. Pelosi's letter and will respond in an appropriate time and manner to address the concerns she presented.  It would be inappropriate to comment on this matter any further at this time.  Throughout the Hunters Point cleanup and transfer process, the Navy has adhered to regulatory cleanup standards established by the USEPA and other public agencies, following principles that are protective of the public.  Transparency in the cleanup and re-testing process at Hunters Point is a goal Navy shares with Rep. Pelosi to ensure the property is suitable for transfer and the public is protected," said Lt. Cmdr. Ryan de Vera, U.S. Navy spokesman.   

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July 31, 2018 
Representative Nancy Pelosi was briefed by the Navy Base Realignment and Closure Office and involved regulatory agencies about progress with the radiological clean-up program at Hunters Point.

Statement:  The following files were shared during the brief: 1) HPNS Radiological ReevaluationH2) HPNS Figures, and 3) HPNS photo. 

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July 3, 2018 
How will the Navy proceed with awarding a contract to retest Parcel G and what contractors are involved? How is Jacobs Engineering involved and how much is the Navy's existing contract?

Statement:  The current contract with Jacobs Engineering totals $8.75 million. Work already completed under this contract includes research that identified potential data manipulation and enabled the Navy to prepare Finding Reports for suspect Buildings and Soil. This contract will also be used to reevaluate all Parcel G buildings identified in our retesting work plan--details are being finalized.

A new contractor to conduct radiological surveys for the re-evaluation of soil at Parcel G will be selected from a list of five additional contractors that are qualified to perform this work.

The five contractors being solicited for a bid include: 1) Gilbane Federal Services, 2) AECOM-Energy Solutions JB (Joint Venture), 3) AMEC Foster Wheeler Environmental & Infrastructure, 4) APTIM Federal Services (formerly known as CB&I Federal Services LLC), and 5) EDD Insight Philotechnics. The Navy has worked with each of the five contractors and Jacobs Engineering in the past. 

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June 15, 2018 
The Navy has prepared a work plan for radiological retesting at Parcel G on HPNS which is available for public comment during a 60-day period beginning June 15, 2018.

Statement:  The Navy will collect new data at sites where TtEC had previously gathered radiological data. Cleanup objectives for each parcel were developed early in the Superfund process to prevent exposure to possible radiological contamination in existing soil and buildings, as documented in the Record of Decision (ROD). The rework to collect new data will begin with Parcel G. This new data, including results from soil and buildings that remain at the areas in question, will verify if the property is suitable for transfer.  If the new data does not verify the property is suitable for transfer, subsequent work plans will be developed for any additional work and next steps. The public is encouraged to review and comment on the Parcel G work plan (link below) during the 60-day public comment period (June 15, 2018 - August 14, 2018). Written comments to the work plan may submitted to derek.j.robinson1@navy.mil

The following links are for related documents to parcel G retesting: 1)
draft work plan, 2) fact sheet, 3) press release, and 4) Q&As.

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May 16, 2018
The Navy received a letter dtd 14 May from the Mayor of San Francisco regarding safety concerns at the Hunters Point Shipyard.

Statement:  We are in receipt of a letter from Mayor Farrell and appreciate the chance to respond to his questions regarding the Navy's work at Hunters Point Shipyard. For many years, the Navy has worked closely with EPA, California Department of Public Health and Department of Toxic Substances Control to achieve our common goal of environmental cleanup that is protective of human health and the environment.  As we reinforced at Monday's Board of Supervisors hearing, the Navy and EPA have confirmed that the Hunters Point Shipyard and areas surrounding the site are safe.

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May 14, 2018
2018 Navy Statement to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

Statement:  An Informational briefing was provided by the Base Realignment and Closure, Program Management Office Director regarding the Hunters Point Shipyard radiological cleanup program.  

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May 9, 2018
On 9 May Tetra Tech released information indicating that the Navy has shown interest in their proposal to pay for an independent party to retest for radiological contamination at the Hunters Point Shipyard.

Statement:  Independent retesting is a critical element of the Navy's Hunters Point reevaluation workplan.  We believe it to be necessary to provide a comprehensive, credible data set to reassure the community about their safety as well as determine the extent of any remediation activities needed to complete the cleanup of HPNS. Tetra Tech has made a broad public offer to pay for retesting; the Navy requires a more concrete and specific proposal to evaluate the appropriateness of their offer. The safety of the HPNS residents is the Navy's highest priority, so the retesting must be carried out to the highest standard by a READ MORE> 

 


 

May 2, 2018
Navy's response to Tetra Tech's announcement that it will pay for an independent party to retest for radiological contamination at the Hunters Point Shipyard?

Statement:  Independent retesting is a critical element of the Navy's Hunters Point reevaluation workplan. Its purpose is not to exonerate the contractors involved, but to offer a comprehensive, credible data set to reassure the community about their safety, determine the extent of any remediation activities needed, and complete the cleanup of HPNS. We are in receipt of a letter from Tetra Tech and will be evaluating the appropriate course of action to support the success of the Hunters Point cleanup program and ensure the safety of the Hunters Point community.

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May 2, 2018 
An EPA Memo, dated 29 Dec. 2017, provided an evaluation of findings reports for Parcels B & G that found a higher percentage of data concerns than the Navy.

Statement: There is no fundamental disagreement between Navy and EPA regulators.While the analysis approach and numbers may differ, the cumulative assessments have led us to evaluate the most efficient retesting approach to ensure the property is safe for transfer to the local community.The Navy and regulatory agencies agree that all Tetra Tech radiological work areas need to be retested.  Percentages reported by the Navy in our technical evaluations represent areas where data has indications of potential falsification only. The percentages reported in the December 27, 2017 EPA letter indicate READ MORE>

 

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