Environmental Justice Progress Report

Volume 14, May 1998

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Cleanup Standards for Schools and Parks WECC to address NEJAC on Navy Cleanup

Estuary Park is a Toxic Waste Site IR Site 25 Announced at May RAB Meeting.

News in Brief

Cleanup Standards for Schools and Parks WECC to address NEJAC on Navy Cleanup

WECC will be among the presenters at the National Environmental Justice Advisory Committee (NEJAC) quarterly meeting in Oakland. WECC will make a presentation to NEJAC over the inadequate cleanup standards being used for parks and school sites at Alameda Point. NEJAC advises the US EPA on issues of environmental justice.

Three different cleanup standards have been proposed for Alameda Point - residential, occupational, and recreational. WECCÕs Community Acceptance Criteria recommended that the residential cleanup standard be used for parks, schools, and day care sites. The Navy has instead proposed cleanup standards for parks at Alameda Point that are closer to the industrial property cleanup standard, than the residential standard.

In urban areas like Alameda, parks are used by children as if they are residential backyards. For example, a West end housing development that was recently approved by the city planning department allowed a neighborhood park to replace required backyard space.

Safe parks are not a luxury. The current Navy cleanup standards for parks is an environmental injustice.

Estuary Park is a Toxic Waste Site IR Site 25 Announced at May RAB Meeting.

The RAB first learned of the contamination at Estuary Park at their February meeting. The information did not come from a technical presentation by the Navy or from state or federal environmental agencies. It came from West End Concerned Citizens (WECC).

As EJPP reported in January, Navy risk assessments (based on 1995 soil sampling) showed that Estuary Park had the highest human health risk of any property at the Alameda Point Naval Air Station. The cancer risk at the park was 10,000 times the acceptable risk level for residential property.

Despite the risk estimated for residential land use, the Navy, US EPA, and Cal-EPA distributed a Òcomfort letterÓ in April saying the park is safe for use. The Navy says the park is safe because Òa thick grass coverÓ prevents contact with the underlying contaminated soil.

In May, WECC reported to the Navy and regulators a violation of lease restrictions at Estuary Park. Excavation of soil was performed without proper health and safety precautions, exposing park users to potential toxins.

WECC has also inspected the Òthick grass coverÓ and found it to be of poor quality - damaged by vehicle tires, pot-holed by gophers, and worn out around soccer goals, playground equipment and par course stations.

News In Brief

Radioactive Material Removal, Public Meeting Delayed until June:

Regulators have still not approved Navy plans to remove storm sewers contaminated with radioactive material. A public meeting originally scheduled for April 20th will be rescheduled in June. Storm sewers which are located between Building 5 and the Seaplane Lagoon, and between Building 11 and the Seaplane Lagoon will be removed.

Six month project to remove six miles of inactive fuel lines to begin

The Navy will begin removal of inactive fuel lines and limited removal of contaminated soil beginning in June. The sixth month project is scheduled to be completed in December. The project will require closure of heavily used streets at Alameda Point including Atlantic Avenue.

Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) Regular Meeting, Tuesday, June 2, 1998

The Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) is a composed of concerned community members who meet monthly with the Navy, and environmental regulators. The two hour RAB meetings, begin at 7:00 pm. Meetings are held at the ARRA Redevelopment Center Community Conference Room, Building 1, 250 Mall Square, Alameda. The public is invited.

Remedial Investigation Report rewrite will delay Alameda Point cleanup work

The RAB, US EPA, and Cal-EPA have asked the Navy to rewrite the first Remedial Investigation (RI) Report addressing 12 of the 25 toxic waste sites at Alameda Point. The RI Report was supposed to describe the areas impacted by toxic wastes from spills and disposal practices and the report did not.

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Revised July 8, 1998