Environmental Justice Progress Report

Volume 12, March 1998

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2 out of 3 Base Cleanup Team Members Prefer signs in Coast Guard Park

Technical Assistance for Public Participation, RAB jumps at chance for Second Opinion

News in Brief

2 out of 3 Base Cleanup Team Members Prefer signs in Coast Guard Park

Aggressive community oversight has shown additional benefits. The Navy performed sampling in February after WECC called attention to the exceptionally high human health risk at a Moseley Ave. public park in the Coast Guard housing area. Sampling results led to recommendation by state and federal regulators to install warning signs at the park. The Navy, the third member of the Base Cleanup Team, is still reluctant to do so.

At the February RAB meeting, WECC reported that the highest human health risk estimated for ht e208 parcels at the Nvy base was found at this park. The principal risk is skin contact with coal tar, a known carcinogen.

At the March RAB meeting, the Navy's toxicologist explained that the high estimates for human risk were related residential exposure and that the use of the park was recreational. The less frequent recreational use would result in lower exposure and that lower level of exposure was an acceptable risk.

A number of RAB members took exception to this noting the young age of the park users. EJPP believes the risk information should be communicated to Coast Guard families so the exposed individuals can determine in the risk is acceptable. Informed Consent!

Technical Assistance for Public Participationm, RAB jumps on Opportunity for Second Opinion

A Navy Contract Officer's presentation on the Department of Defense's new TAPP Grant program was interupted by RAB members who wanted to get started on filling out an application. Several RAB memebers led the presenter out of the room to get his help in ensuring the application was properly completed.

The Technical Assistance for Public Participation or TAPP was the result of the tireless effort of ARC Ecology and other military watchdog groups to ensure that communities impacted by Navy pollution had access to resources to meaningfully participate in cleanup decisions. The RAB will be able to specd upt ot $25,000 a year to hire outside technical assistance through the Navy's contract office. A total of $100,000 will be available to the RAB over the lifetime of the cleanup.

RAB members were principally concerned with getting assistance during the review of the Remedial Investigation (RI) Report for Operable Unit No. 1. A 60-day public review period for the RI Report will end on April 12, 1998. A copy of the RI Report has still not been placed in the public library and this deadline for public comments may need to be extended.

Operable Units No. 1 is a group of 12 toxic waste sites. The Remedial Investigation or RI report represents the completion of sampling and other studies to determine the environmental impacts of pollution on these 12 toxic waste sites generally considered to be the least complicated. The remaining 12 toxic waste sites are in one of the three remaining operable units.

The Technical Assistance for Public Participation Grant or TAG Grant program is similar to TAPP. TAG Grants are only availbale for communties located near Federal Superfund Sites. The Alameda Point Naval Air Station was recommended for the Superfund program by the US EPA. Under Superfund, Governor Pee Wee Wilson must concur with the EPA's recommendation. Governor Wilson has refused to do so citing the potential Superfund stigma on reuse.

News In Brief

Groundwater Rising, Can you smell that smell

Aggressive community overight identified the problem using alfactory equipment. The frequent vists from our cousin El Nino, have taken jet fuel and gasoline spills that are floating on the groundwater several feet below the surface and moved these spills into parking lots, and strorm water drains that discharge into the bay. The Navy has previously concluded that human or wildlife are not exposed to contaminated groundwater. The Navy was notified by WECC of the problem and notified Emergency Response Notification System operated by the Coast Guard.

Pinnochio's Sewer Pipe - Unmitigated Growth Inducing Project Proceeds as Pre-planned Emegency

When the Army Corps originally proposed deepening the Oakland Estuary, the 1987 Supplemental Environmental Impact Report proposed replacing a buried 16-inch sewer line with a new 16-inch line buried ten feet deeper. In 1995, the City of Alameda reqiested the Army Corps install a 20-inch diaeter replacement sewer pipe to accommodate future base redevelopment. Then the pipe grew to 22-inches. The Alameda Journal now reports that a 24-inch pipe was installed. The replacement was necessary after the existing 16-inch sewer pipe leaked an undisclosed amount of sewage into the Bay. Installing the larger pipe during the dredging project was reported to save the City of Alameda $3 million dollars. Installing the larger pipe as an emergency repair prior to the legally mandated Environmental Impact Report, saved the City the cost of a new bridge ($200 million) or a new tunnel ($1 billion). The sewer pipe has accomodated 4,00 additional toilets in Alameda, without acommodating the people who will be using them after they find a parking space for their cars.

Navy unfamiliar with Parcel 182 - Public Park remains open - Hazard Communication Program Ignored

The EJPP reported last month that the greatest risk from exposure to contaminated soil at NAS was found on Parcel 182 a public park located on Moseley Avenue in the North Housing. The Navy has agreed to provide the Restoration Advisory Board with an explanation of why this contaminated property was not made inaccessible following the most recent sampling in May 1995. The WECC representative at the February RAB meeting was the only one familiar with the risk screen made available to the public 2.5 years after sampling was performed.

February 1998 Edition | NAS IR Site Map | Clearwater Revival Home Page

Revised July 8, 1998