California Cleanups: Hunters Point
Hunters Point Naval Shipyard has been an EPA Superfund site for 30 years. After World War II, Navy nuclear weapons research and efforts to decontaminate ships exposed to nuclear bomb tests left the site heavily polluted with radioactivity. To date, the Navy has spent nearly a billion dollars on the cleanup.
The EPA is now saying that Hunters Point Naval Shipyard will not be cleaned sufficiently to allow unrestricted residential use. Instead, the agency will rely upon caps and “land use restrictions” in violation of California Proposition P, the overwhelmingly approved voter initiative demanding a full cleanup for the shipyard, a Superfund site since 1989.
In late 2021, the Navy revealed findings of Strontium-90 (Sr-90) “above remediation levels” in Parcel G, a portion of the site being retested after official findings of widespread falsification of soil samples. Since that time, in various briefings and public statements, the Navy has inaccurately discounted the seriousness of these findings using a variety of deceptive gambits.
Sr-90 is the longest-lived major fission byproduct requiring hundreds of years to decay to negligible levels. It is a “bone seeker” depositing in bones, bone marrow, blood, and soft tissues.