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Hunters Point Naval Shipyard was established in 1869 as the first dry dock on the Pacific Coast, in southeastern San Francisco, California, adjacent to San Francisco Bay. In 1940, the Navy obtained ownership of the shipyard for ship building, repair and maintenance activities. After World War II, activities shifted from ship repair to submarine servicing and testing. The Navy operated Hunters Point Annex as a shipbuilding and repair facility from 1941 until 1976.
Between 1976 and 1986, the Navy leased most of the shipyard to Triple A, a private ship-repair company. The shipyard was an annex of Naval Station Treasure Island until 1974 when the Navy's Engineering Field Activity West assumed the management of it. The shipyard consists of 936 acres: 493 on land and 443 under water in San Francisco Bay.
In 1987, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), trichloroethylene and other solvents, pesticides, petroleum hydrocarbons, and metals including lead were found at a number of shipyard locations. The USEPA placed Hunters Point Naval Shipyard on the National Priorities List in
1989. In 1991, the Department of Defense listed the shipyard for closure.
On January 22, 1992, USEPA signed a Federal Facilities Agreement (FFA) with the Navy and the State of California to better coordinate the environmental investigation and cleanup.
To expedite investigation and cleanup, the site was divided into six parcels; A through F. Parcel F is the offshore parcel. To date, the Navy has completed a significant amount of fieldwork for Parcels A through E. Additional offshore sampling was conducted for Parcel F, and the California Department of Toxic Substances, Site Cleanup - Site Mitigation and Brownfield Reuse Program Database, Found at http://www.dtsc.ca.gov/database/Calsites/CALP001.CFM?IDNUM=38440004
United States Environmental Protection Agency, Found at:
http://yosemite.epa.gov/r9/sfund/overview.nsf/0/f8cdc641e5183f068825660b007ee684?OpenDocument#descr shipyard's shoreline areas which might impact Parcel F, in 2002 and 2003. Further testing is ongoing on certain sites within the shipyard.
In August 2000, a surface brush fire of unknown origin occurred on the Parcel E landfill. Fire crews extinguished the surface brush fire the same day it was discovered. However, several days later, smoke and other evidence of smoldering indicated that the fire had spread to below ground.
No air monitoring was conducted during the early days of the fire. The subsurface landfill fire continued to smolder for many weeks. At USEPA direction, the Navy set up an air monitoring network around the perimeter of the landfill and established a community outreach program to alert and inform workers and nearby residents about the landfill fire. In order to fully extinguish the subsurface fire, the Navy capped the landfill. The landfill cap was completed in early 2001.
The Navy proclaimed the subsurface fire to be out at a public meeting held in March 2001. In June 2001, USEPA issued a letter to the Navy imposing stipulated penalties of $25,000 for the Navy's failure to notify USEPA immediately upon discovery of the fire. This stipulated penalty issue was settled in 2002.
In August 2002, the Navy determined that landfill gas had migrated offsite and was found under an adjacent property. The Navy conducted an emergency removal action to address this landfill gas. Under this emergency action, the Navy constructed a barrier wall and trench to stop further offsite movement and to prevent future build up of landfill gas. Further, the Navy has installed an active landfill gas extraction system to extract methane and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), treat the VOCs and vent the methane in order to address the landfill gas that had already migrated offsite and accumulated under an adjacent property.
Community members and environmental health advocates continue to question the adequacy of the testing and cleanup at the site.
Bay Area Drum Company21 1212 Thomas Avenue San Francisco, CA 94124 Site Description The site is located on Thomas Avenue in a mixed residential/commercial neighborhood of Bayview Hunters Point. It includes both the Bay Area Drum Company, and eight surrounding residences that were contaminated by with polychlorinated biphenyls, heavy metals and solvents.
From the mid-1940s until 1987, the site was used by a number of different companies, (Bay Area Drum Company was the last company to operate at the site), as a reconditioning facility for drums used to store a variety of chemicals, including oils, solvents, paints and asphalt products.
Drums at the facility were cleaned, reconditioned, repainted, and then sold to other companies.
California Department of Toxic Substances, Site Cleanup - Site Mitigation and Brownfield Reuse Program, Found at http://www.dtsc.ca.gov/SiteCleanup/Bay_Area_Drum/NEWS_2003_T-23-03.pdf Chemicals used for cleaning and chemical residues from the drums contaminated soil and groundwater at the site.
In 1986, DTSC found elevated levels of metals, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and solvents in soil and liquid samples taken at the Bay Area Drum Company facility. DTSC conducted further investigations and found elevated levels of lead, copper, cadmium, PCBs and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in soil and groundwater at the facility. In addition contamination was found in the backyard soils of eight homes adjacent to the facility, as well as in the soil and groundwater of the adjacent vacant lot.
In 2001, approximately 6,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil were excavated from the site and disposed at an approved off-site facility. All excavated areas were then backfilled with clean soil. According to DTSC, “residential cleanup” standards were achieved for the site after completion of these activities in 2001.
Groundwater at the site is still not suitable for drinking due to the low pumping rate and the potential for high salinity.
Federated Fry Metals (Division of Asarco)22 1901 Cesar Chavez San Francisco, CA 92124 Site Description This approximately one-third acre site is located in a heavily industrialized section of Bayview Hunters Point. Currently, it is occupied by The San Francisco Chronicle Site which consists of an 80,000 square feet newspaper printing plant, and a surrounding asphalt parking area.
The site was occupied in the 1930s by the American Smelting and Refining Company under the Federated Metals Corporation name, Federated-Fry Metals Plant. The facility was used for brass ingot and lead production; materials used included brass and bronze scrap metals, oxide of tin and lead, and pure forms of these materials. Oxides formed during the melting process were taken off in the form of slag and were either recycled or hauled offsite. Two underground storage tanks were removed from the Site in March 1987. The property was acquired by the San Francisco Newspaper Agency in 1987. The existing structures on site were demolished and a new printing plant and a surrounding parking area were built at the site. Site soils which were contaminated with lead and other metals were left in place and buried under the cap. A deed restriction was recorded on the property to prohibit sensitive uses on the Site.
It is estimated that about 122-cubic yards of slag was deposited on site. It is also believed that approximately 1500 cubic yards of crushed and washed pre-1950s-style battery boxes were deposited on site. The primary contaminants of concern are lead and mercury. The Removal California Department of Toxic Substances, Site Cleanup - Site Mitigation and Brownfield Reuse Program Database, Found at http://www.dtsc.ca.gov/database/Calsites/CALP001.CFM?IDNUM=38330104 Action Work plan (RAW) proposed the construction of an asphalt cap over the affected areas as well as implementing institutional controls for the property. DTSC approved the RAW on January 2001. The property would be deed restricted, limiting future uses to industrial or commercial. Implementation of the RAW began in February 2003 and was completed in April
2002. An Operation and Maintenance Agreement for maintenance of the asphalt cap was executed between DTSC and Federated Fry Metals (Division of Asarco) in August 2003. A deed restriction to limit future uses of the site was recorded in October 2003. DTSC certified completion of actions taken under the RAW on November 4, 2003.
James Armstrong Vacant Lot23 2250 Jerrold St.
San Francisco, CA 94124 Site Description The James Armstrong Vacant Lot is located in an industrial area in Bayview Hunters Point.
Site History From 1980 to some time before 1987 (exact period of operation is not known), Elkhorn Towing and Auto Dismantlers occupied the front section of the lot. Approximately seventy drums of paint related wastes were reportedly stored in the back section of this lot in 1980. A letter from the Department of Public Works to the Regional Water Quality Control Board states that: "the drums contained paint related materials"; however, the letter does not elaborate on the chemical constituents of these materials. None of the agencies contacted had much information about waste source, removal of the drums or other clean up activities. According to a drive-by inspection performed by the Field Investigation Team of Ecology and Environment, Incorporated in 1985, only debris such as scrap metal, wood, and tire was seen in the back section of the lot.
No drum storage on site was observed.
Currently, there is no regulatory agency actively involved with any site investigation at the lot.
The site lies on top of bay mud. The highest seasonal level of ground water in the site area is detected close to zero feet below ground surface. The ground water is brackish and is not used for any purposes. Twenty percent of drinking water in the area comes from Alameda County reservoirs owned by the San Francisco Water Department and eighty percent comes from the Hetch Hetchy system. Islais Creek is located 0.5 mile west of the site. This surface water body is a flood channel which flows approximately one mile to San Francisco Bay.
In a March 1, 1985 letter to the USEPA, Ron Goloubow from Ecology & Environment, Inc., a contractor hired to evaluate the site suggested that “Although no apparent imminent threat exists, a site inspection is recommended to further characterize this site. The possible presence of onsite soil contamination resulting from drum storage activities is still unknown and may be determined from a site inspection.” In 1985, the site was referred to the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, San Francisco Bay Region for their consideration.
Goloubow, Ron, Ecology & Environment, Inc., Recommendation for Further Action, March 1, 1985 Karkar-General Signal24 1920-2190 Army St.
San Francisco, CA 94124 Site Description The site consists of one building occupying approximately 150,000 square feel located on approximately 6.2 areas in a mixed residential/commercial area of Bayview Hunters Point.
Karkar-General Signal occupied a portion of the northeast corner of the building designated as 1950 Army St. The nearest surface water is the Islais Creek channel approximately one-quarter mile southeast. The nearest school is approximately one-quarter mile north of the site.
From December 1974 to late 1989, Karkar Electronics occupied portions of the building designated as 1950 Army St. and 2150 Army St. In 1986, Karkar was acquired by general Signal Corporation and continued operations as a division of General Signal. Karkar ceased operations onsite in 1988, vacated the property in 1989 and has subleased a portion of the property since 1990.
The sole source of contamination evaluated by USEPA for the NPL Hazardous Ranking System is copper chloride waste derived from a circuit board etching operations. Soil sampling has shown elevated concentrations of copper in the soil near a hole in the building wall where waste may have been discharged. Two samples taken 30 and 60 feet west of the discharge point contained copper concentrations greater than three times background concentrations. During Karkar’s operations onsite, some of these wastes may have been discharged into City storm drains.
The USEPA took no further actions after its initial evaluation and decision not to include the site in the National Priorities List.
Metten and Gebhard25 1775 Egbert Avenue San Francisco, CA 94124 Site Description This site is located in a mixed industrial-urban neighborhood of Bayview Hunters Point. It consists of three buildings and a parking area with a fenced perimeter to prevent public access.
The nearest residential buildings are twelve hundred feet to the northeast. Railroad tracks, a vacant lot, a three-story office building, Bayshore Boulevard and US Highway 101 are to the west of the site. Railroad tracks, a public storage business, and a vacant lot are located to the southeast. The South Basin area of San Francisco Bay is approximately one mile to the east.
USEPA, Preliminary Assessment Report, February 12, 1993 California Department of Toxic Substances, Site Cleanup - Site Mitigation and Brownfield Reuse Program Database, Found at http://www.dtsc.ca.gov/database/Calsites/CALP001.CFM?IDNUM=38310001
Metten & Gebhard operated a tannery on the site from the early 1900's to 1979. The site was then leased to Salz Leather Company from 1979 to 1981. Both of these operations used chrome and vegetable tanning processes. The building was vacant, with a caretaker, for several years.
AC Electric Company, owned by Andreas Christofordis, acquired the site in 1983. In December 1981, the Department of Health Services (DHS) predecessor to Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) identified the site as a part of the Abandoned Site Project and two drums on the were sampled. The results were: iron up to 6916 parts per million (ppm); arsenic up to 916 ppm;
and chromium up to 6600 ppm. Testing of soil and sediments within the building in the sumps and trenches took place in November 1982. Results indicated chromium contamination in the subsurface soils but no chromium was detected in the industrial well. In June 1984, DHS reinspected the site and also found high chromium results.