Consumer Watchdog Requests Radiological Inspection at Hunter’s Point Naval Shipyard As Possibly Contaminated Soil Heads to Landfills Unlicensed for Radioactive Waste

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Santa Monica, CA—Consumer Watchdog has called for a state investigation of the cleanup of Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in San Francisco for large amounts of soil that may have been dug up in a radioactively impacted parcel without being checked for contamination and then sent off site for possible disposal in landfills unlicensed to take low-level radioactive waste.

“We want the state to immediately halt all trucking of this soil until it is inspected for radioactive contamination by the California Department of Public Health,” said Consumer Advocate Liza Tucker.
In a letter to the California Department of Public Health’s Division of Food, Drug, and Radiation Safety, the group said that the allegation came from a worker at the site. “Consumer Watchdog has significant concerns for worker health and safety as well as for the public’s protection from toxic harm if potentially radioactive waste is being unsafely transported and taken to facilities not capable of preventing its migration to the environment,” the letter said. 

For the letter, see:

“As we understand it, workers are conducting this remediation without protective gear, without training in how to protect themselves from radiation, and without monitoring for exposure,” said Tucker. “This is unacceptable. It also raises questions about why the lead state agency on the Navy’s cleanup—the Department of Toxic Substances Control—looks like it didn’t ensure that radioactively-contaminated soil was properly managed.”

Consumer Watchdog received a tip from a worker at the site that unprotected workers digging up soil to reach radioactively-contaminated sewer and storm drain piping were told the site was a “chemical remediation” project, but nothing was ever mentioned about possible radioactive contamination in the soil. 

The worker raised concerns because of extensive soil excavation to unearth piping right up to the foundations of contaminated buildings now undergoing radiologic remediation. Trucking of the possibly radioactively contaminated soil began this week without any testing of the soil first, the worker alleges. 

See pictures of soil and trucks leaving site here:

For more, see:

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Liza Tucker
Liza Tucker
Liza Tucker is a consumer advocate for Consumer Watchdog, following everything from oil and gas to the regulation of toxic substances in the state of California. She comes to us from Marketplace, the largest U.S. broadcast show on business and economics heard by ten million listeners each week on 400 radio stations. Liza worked at this public radio show for a decade, first as Commentary Editor and then as Senior Editor for both Washington and Sustainability News.

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