Environmental Justice Progress Report

Volume 7, July 1997

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Partnering - Creating an Environment of Trust and Respect

Mayor and ARRA Focus on Cleanup, Dellums Warns About Funding

Interim Use Plan for Alameda Point

West End, Can it be Improved?

Measures Necessary for Mitigated Negative Declaration

Upcoming Public Meetings/Comment Periods

Partnering - Creating an Environment of Trust and Respect

In January the Base Cleanup Team (Navy, US EPA, Cal-EPA) delivered a message to the Restoration Advisory Board (RAB): "The quality and efficiency of the work done by members of the BCT is in part reflected by the quality of the relationships between the individuals who participate in the BCT."

The statement read by Steve Edde, the Navy's BCT member, at the July RAB meeting, shows what a poor relationship currently exists between BCT members. This poor relationship continues to be reflected in the inefficient and poor quality of cleanup at the Naval Air Station Alameda.

As a reminder to Steve Edde, EFA-West employees, and others receiving paychecks to attend RAB meetings; Community participants are volunteers. A request will be made to ban you from attending future RAB meetings if you do not act in a professional manner, and adhere to the ground rules: Respect one another, only one person speaks at a time, no put-downs, no cheap shots, no surprises, and no "side talk." Future demonstrations such as the one made by Steve Edde and EFA-West employees at the July RAB meeting are not acceptable. Apologies to both Cal-EPA representatives and to RAB members are expected from these offending individuals.

Mayor and ARRA Focus on Cleanup, Dellums Warns About Funding

On July 21, 1997, the Secretary of Defense Bill Cohen took a first hand look at the "national model" for base conversion at Alameda Naval Air Station with Mayor Appezzato, Congressman Ron Dellums and Senator Barbara Lee. While Congressman Dellums warned about the effects of federal funding on the quality of pollution cleanup, Mayor Appezzato expressed concern about the standards being used to by the Navy cleanup program.

"Our city must follow California standards, not federal standards. We don't want military brownfields in our community."

-Mayor Ralph Appezzato
Alameda Journal, July 22-24, 199

Mayor Appezzato's comments follow the ARRA's June letter to the Defense Department and EFA-West in which the city recognized the great financial liability of accepting "dirty property" transfers from the Navy, particularly in light of the ongoing disagreements between regulators and the Navy on cleanup standards for NAS. EJPP recognizes and supports Mayor Appezzato and the ARRA for their cautious approach to "dirty transfers."

Interim Use Plan for Alameda Point

Master Use Permit

A Master Use Permit for Alameda Point, the Former Alameda Naval Air Station, would cover 63 existing buildings (3,000,000 square feet) with the greatest potential for interim uses. The Master Use Permit would allow specified uses for each building, mostly light industrial or heavy industrial, that are consistent with the uses, number of employees, traffic generation, and other environmental impacts under the prior military use. The master use permit would be for a maximum of 5,420 employees. The Master Use Permit would be revised annually to avoid conflicts with long-term reuse.

Each approved lease for interim use would have a conditional permit. Unless requested by a member of the Planning Board, the conditional permit would be approved without discretionary review or public hearings. Interim uses that do not comply with the standards and requirements of the Master Use Permit would still be allowed on a case-by-case review.

Negative Declaration

On July 4, 1997, the City of Alameda and Alameda Reuse and Redevelopment Authority released a Negative Declaration and finding of No Significant Environmental Impact from the Master Use Permit. The negative declaration indicates that the proposed project if approved would not have a significant effect on the environment and does not require the preparation of an Environmental Impact Report. The finding of no significant impact is based on:

  1. Each interim use being reviewed individually to eliminate potential for environmental degradation;
  2. Interim uses involving existing facilities, so that interim use will not be a detriment to long-term goals;
  3. Interim uses are not cumulatively considerable because the interim uses involve activities similar to those presently conducted;
  4. Only parcels that are found to have no adverse effect on human health through Environmental Baseline Surveys conducted by the Navy will be available for reuse.

Flawed Initial Study

The initial study does not identify all the environmental impacts that will result from the Master Use Permit, and compares the identified impacts against an unacceptable standard: the former military use.

City's Proposed Mitigation Measures

West End Can it be improved?

Over $400 million to address land pollution impacts; the poisoning of fish in San Francisco Bay; the West End's "Toxic Hot Spot" designation; high incidence of cancer, high incidence of poverty, and the large tracks of brownfields. The military property use of Alameda Point has been the principle contributing factor to the environmental degradation in the West End.

The initial study prepared by the City Planning Department, however, makes no effort to ensure that the quality of the environment in the West End benefits from the departure of the US Navy. In fact the quality of the West End environment will be further degraded by the city's unmitigated Master Use Permit.

The city has told West End residents in the past that they live in a bad neighborhood. The initial study confirms that this racist point of view exists within the city planning department today.

A principle result of the Master Use Permit will be to reduce the affordability of existing and future West End housing. The city's initial study maintains that environmental impacts from Alameda Point reuse would result from residential land uses and not from heavy-industrial uses proposed in the Master Use Permit.

The costs of mitigating impacts not identified in the Master Use Permit will be misappropriated on the developers of future housing. These misappropriated costs will make development less economical and the housing less affordable. The resulting rise in rents will displace residents. The City must reevaluate the Initial Study to adequately identify and mitigate the environ-mental impacts resulting from the Master Use Permit.

Environmental Justice holds that the environment is the fundamental basis for cultural, social, and economic sustainability. Long ignored, the West End deserves to benefit from Alameda Point reuse. Our health, our jobs, and our ability to continue to afford to live here rely on it.

Measures Necessary to support Mitigated Negative Declaration

Upcoming Public Meetings/Comment Periods

Restoration Advisory Board:

The Restoration Advisory Board meets at 7 pm the first Tuesday of each month at Paden School, 444 Central Avenue. Meetings are open to the public and run from until 9:30 pm.

Negative Declaration:

The City will accept written comments on the Negative Declaration for the Master Use Permit for Alameda Point, until August 4, 1997. Submit written comments to City of Alameda Planning Department, City Hall, Room 160, 2250 Central Avenue, Alameda, CA 94501. A public meeting will also be held on August 11, 1997 to allow public comment. A written response will be prepared to all comments received.

Site 15 and 16 Removal Actions:

The Navy will accept and respond to written comments on the Site 15 and Site 16 Engineering Evaluation and Cost Analysis reports until August 22, 1997. Submit comments to Steve Edde, BRAC Environmental Coordinator, 950 West Mall Square, Alameda, CA 94501. (see EJPP, vol. 6, June '97).

Wildlife Refuge Town Meeting:

The US Fish and Wildlife Service will hold a town meeting to give a presentationon the refuge program and planning process. Staff will be available to discuss habitat management options for the proposed Alameda NWR. The meeting will begin at 6 pm, August 12, 1997, at Alameda High School Cafeteria, Central Avenue between Park St. and Oak St.

June1997 Edition | NAS Site Map | Clearwater Revival Home Page

Revised July 27, 1997