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Halting Wildlife Destruction & Toxic Gentrification On The San Francisco Bay & Treasure Island
Recently, Miami based mega developer Lennar corporation was fined over $500,000 for repeatedly violating air safety regulations in building large gentrifying condo projects on Bay coastal areas in the industrially contaminated southeast San Francisco.
Yet even after being found liable for stirring up toxic chemicals and asbestos in these project areas, and creating serious health and cancer risks to Bayview Hunters Point and all other city residents, Lennar is now being allowed to triple its development projects, expanding them in the Bayview, and to the even more heavily contaminated areas of Treasure Island and Candlestick Point.
Radioactive Navy Dump Sites & Growing Sea Flooding Dangers
Both Treasure Island and the Candlestick Point project area are heavily contaminated by cold war era radioactive and toxic wastes created by the U.S. Navy.
Treasure Island is so low in relation to sea level that it is in imminent danger of being utterly overwhelmed by both earthquake tsunamis, and sea rise flooding created by the climate crisis. The Candlestick and Bayview Hunters Point sites are also extremely susceptible to tsunamis and sea rise.
If and when flooding overwhelms these project areas, the toxic and radioactive contamination in them will become dramatically more hazardous due to saltwater leaching and earthquake driven soil liquefaction dangers.
Rampant Cleanup Scandals
Since 2012, whistleblowers who once worked on the cleanup of radioactive and toxic waste at the sites have been coming forward to reveal that private contractors hired by the Navy, including Tetra Tech, and Shaw Environmental, have falsified cleanup reports and faked soil samples to coverup the extent of contamination that remains in the project areas.
In 2018, after years of being pressured to act, the US EPA at last admitted that in some cases nearly 100% of testing samples were falsified by Tetra Tech. The Navy and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control have also been implicated in purposely covering up the contamination and falsified cleanup; all in an effort to transfer lands quickly to Lennar corporation so that it can make profits building luxury condos.
Click Here To Take Action Now
For more information, read on..
Wetland Wildlife Habitat On The Lennar Chopping Block
Lennar's projects along the Bay coastline will also destroy large swaths of sensitive wetland wildlife habitat at Candlestick Point State Park, to replace them with waterfront condos and yacht harbors.
Outrageously, the Mayor's office and Board of Supervisors have largely ignored Lennar's history and continuously rubber stamped these dangerous and destructive expansions.
Instead Of Full Removal, The Navy & Lennar Plan To 'Cap' Toxic & Radioactive Wastes
In Lennar's Candlestick Point project the City might even permit a Navy Superfund dump site to be covered with an extremely unsafe 'cap' rather than requiring all toxic and radioactive materials to be completely removed. Once this 'cap' is put in place, parkland, homes and businesses will be built on top, and adjacent to it.
Earthquake Hazard Vastly Amplifies Danger
Most alarmingly, because all of these project areas were formed with artificial and loose bay fill soils, any large earthquake could result in a liquefaction disaster during which toxins and radiation will not remain contained, and will escape and outgas into the project areas, the San Francisco Bay, and all throughout the city.
Strong Opposition From Environmental And Social Justice Organizations
Scores of environmental groups, social justice organizations, workers rights advocates, and individuals, including EPA scientist Wilma Subra, who specializes in analyzing such dangerous sites, have written hundreds of pages of comments stating that because of these serious dangers, the projects are critically flawed and must be drastically altered before they are allowed to proceed.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Successfully challenging these projects depends on intervention by the two district Board Supervisors for the Bayview and Treasure Island, Malia Cohen and Jane Kim.
Contact Cohen, Kim, and their staff with the message below at:
Malia Cohen: 415-554-7670 - Malia.Cohen@sfgov.org
Jane Kim: 415-554-7970 - Jane.Kim@sfgov.org
"Please make absolutely certain that Lennar's Hunters Point, Treasure Island, Candlestick and Yerba Buena Island projects will not proceed until:
1) A full investigation and retesting for all contaminants (not just radioactive waste) is done of all current and former Navy base lands in the project areas, including comprehensive deep core soil samples and water testing
2) all parcels are fully cleaned to unrestricted residential standards
3) all current and former State park lands and other wildlife habitat areas are designated off limits to development, and
4) supplemental environmental impact reports are done for these areas, to address the growing dangers of sea level rise, tsunamis, and toxic and radioactive releases from earthquake liquefaction."
If you call during the weekend or evening, or get a recording, just leave your comment as voice mail.
For more on Lennar's history of corporate abuses see page 3 of our Fall 2007 Update.