Hunters Point reports say radioactive contamination worse than thought

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Homeowners living on the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard continue to receive bad news. New reports out Thursday indicate radioactive contamination there could be more widespread than previously thought.

The U.S. Navy is now admitting that their contractor, Tetra Tech, falsified soil samples to indicate they were safe. In fact, they were toxic.

RELATED: Radioactive object found near Hunters Point homes despite years of 'clean-up'

"Hunters Point is one of the most contaminated sites in a highly populated urban area that I have ever seen," said Dan Hirsch. Hirsch worked at UC Santa Cruz and now is the president of Committee to Bridge the Gap, a nonprofit focused on nuclear safety issues.

For three years, Hirsch has been researching the radioactive contamination at the Hunters Point Shipyard. He says more than 80 radioactive ships were brought to Hunters Point, severely contaminating much more of the area than originally thought.

On Thursday night, in a garage in Hunters Point, Hirsch explained to the people who live there that there is no data that indicates their neighborhood is clean.

"Ninety percent of Hunters Point wasn't sampled at all and the 10 percent that was sampled was almost entirely falsified by Tetra Tech," Hirsch said.

RELATED: Whistleblowers: We were 'puppets on a string' falsifying toxic soil reports at Hunter's Point Shipyard

Linda Parker Pennington and her family live in a new construction home on Parcel A of the Shipyard. They bought three years ago, from developer Lennar, for more than $900,000.

"We were told certified clean by the EPA, the Navy, and we had nothing to worry about," Pennington said.

Pennington is part of a lawsuit against Lennar and Tetra Tech for the impact on property values.

But she's more concerned about what she feels is the unjust treatment of the Hunters Point community.

RELATED: Hearing held to discuss SF Hunters Point toxic cleanup discrepancy

"Just also about the lack of concern about people of color who live close. ... Basically environmental racism," Pennington said.

Her neighbor, Theo Ellington, is the father of a 2-day-old son. He also invested his life savings into a new unit.

Ellington said he's "deeply concerned about our health outcomes. As a father now, concerned about my child's outcomes."

Lennar says the lawsuit has no merit and will ultimately be dismissed. Hirsch said it could take years to test new soil samples.

Find more stories and videos on the Hunters Point neighborhood of San Francisco here.
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