Department of Public Health Radiological Branch Launches Investigation as Toxics Regulators Allow Large Quantities of Possibly Contaminated Soil to Leave Hunter’s Point Naval Shipyard

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Santa Monica, CA—Consumer Watchdog has confirmed that the Department of Public Health’s Radiological Health Branch is investigating allegations that large amounts of soil dug up in a potentially radioactively contaminated parcel at Hunters Point may not have been checked for radiation before shipping to facilities not licensed to take low level radioactive waste.

“We don’t understand why the lead agency on cleanups in the state—the Department of Toxic Substances Control—would allow shipments to intensify, instead of halt them pending the outcome of this investigation,” said Consumer Advocate Liza Tucker. “We want all shipping of this soil to halt immediately pending inspection of it by the California Department of Public Health’s radiological branch.”
In a letter to the California Department of Public Health’s Division of Food, Drug, and Radiation Safety, the group said last week that the allegation came from a worker at the site. “We relayed the allegation because workers are working without protective gear or radiation monitoring in Parcel C, which is described in state documents as radiologically-impacted,” Tucker said. “And if the soil is going to facilities not licensed to take it, that could also affect the general public’s health.”

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.

See last week’s release here:

Read our letter here:

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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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