The Truth about Radiation and Toxins in HPNS
Wednesday, April 6, 2005, 07:58 PM
Naval Station Treasure Island, Hunters Point Annex (HPA) is in the southeastern part of San Francisco, California on a peninsula extending into the San Francisco Bay
It is bounded by an off-site residential and industrial community, the Hunters Point/Bayview area, on the west. HPA covers 965 acres, 500 acres on land and 465 acres in the bay.

Originally, the land mass of HPA was less than 100 acres . The Navy increased the land mass of the base primarily by using earth from the surrounding hills as fill . Some of the Bay Fill Area and the Industrial Landfill is composed of sandblast waste and miscellaneous industrial debris. Most of the base is fenced to keep area residents from trespassing, although some areas are accessible from the shore by boat or by foot.

Naval operations at HPA began in 1941 near the start of WWII. The Navy increased ship building operations to quicken production of liberty ships during WWII. From 1941 to 1974, the principal facility activities were ship building; naval ships and submarines were also modified, maintained, and repaired. In addition to repair activities, the facility was used for base housing, naval ordnance training exercises, radiological defense research, and research on exposure to radioactive fallout.

In 1946, a group, designated as the Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory (NRDL), was detailed to arrange for the decontamination and disposition of several ships that had returned from nuclear weapons tests at the Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. NRDL's mission was the study of nuclear weapons effects and the development of counter measures. NRDL was operational from 1946 until 1969. Several of the buildings were used for radioactive laboratory operations, cyclotron operations, animal research studies, material storage, and/or processing by NRDL. NRDL sites are found in Parcels B, C, D, and E.

Radionuclides were used in several of the HPA buildings. Many buildings are known to have been used by NRDL. Radioactive wastes generated by NRDL were placed in 55 gallon drums and temporarily stored in a fenced, controlled, and monitored area at HPA. Those drums were periodically transported on a barge, taken out to the Farallon Islands, off the California coast, and released into the sea. The drums were encased with concrete and sunk to a depth of 1,000 fathoms.

In addition, there was extensive testing on animals, and according to stories, testing on humans as well.

During the disbandment of NRDL, Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) accepted the Navy's release of the NRDL buildings to unrestricted uses. Most of the buildings used by NRDL are in ruins. The NRC was the agency responsible for releasing buildings for unrestricted use, but the Navy conducted the actual decontamination of those buildings. NRC retains the records pertaining to NRDL activities. The Navy and the California Department of Health Services (CDHS) are researching archived NRC and naval records to verify documentation of previous release for unrestricted use. CDHS is under contract to the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) to provide radiological support to research along with the Navy archived NRC and naval records.

HPA remained active until 1974, when it was placed on industrial reserve. The majority of HPA was leased to Triple A Machine Shop, Inc. from 1976 to 1986 during which time the base was used for ship repair. During this period, Triple A sub-leased HPA buildings to many small businesses. Allegations of improper waste disposal practices by Triple A were reported and in 1986, twenty on-site areas were investigated by the San Francisco District Attorney. The company has been accused by the city and county of dumping hazardous waste in various areas on site. The city won the court case, which is now undergoing appeal. The Navy is including all the suspect dump areas into their Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) work plans.

In 1981, the Department of Defense (DOD) developed the Installation Restoration Program (IRP) to investigate hazardous material disposal sites at DOD facilities. The Navy is conducting investigations and remediation under the IRP.

In 1986, HPA was taken over by the Navy to be developed as an annex to Naval Station Treasure Island. Extensive soil and groundwater testing took place to characterize the nature and extent of the contamination. Based on the results of the testing, HPA was placed on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) National Priorities List (NPL) in 1989. The initial Federal Facilities Agreement (FFA) was signed January 22, 1992, between the Navy, EPA, and the State of California, Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and the Regional Water Quality Control Board.

Today, in 2005, the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard is officially recognized as a Superfund site and there has been only neglible cleanup, as Lennar Corporation, and out of state company intends to build residential housing on the toxic witches brew of poisons and radiation.

Let the truth be known!