PG&E assures Marina residents toxic soil cleanup is safe

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ByLilian Kim KGO logo
Thursday, May 4, 2017
PG&E assures Marina residents toxic soil cleanup is safe
Concerned residents of the Marina District are meeting with PG&E Wednesday -- the topic is an ongoing cleanup of potentially toxic chemicals buried underground.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Concerned residents of the Marina District are meeting with PG&E Wednesday. Chemicals are buried underground and now the soil is contaminated.

The chemicals are leftover from two gas plants destroyed in the 1906 earthquake -- one off Filmore Street and the other near Fort Mason. The utility company is going to great lengths to clean up that old mess, including buying up homes in the area.

The chemicals are actually leaking into the bay. The orange boom at Gas Cove Marina marks the area where the leak was found.

Dozens of people who live in the Marina District came to a community meeting Wednesday night searching for answers.

"Well, I am concerned that there are toxic substances that are really close to where people live," said Maurice Franco of the Marina Community Association.

There is waste, tar in particular, from two former plants that operated more than 100 years ago.

PG&E has spent the last several years identifying where the toxins are using a drill with sensors attached.

Most have been found on properties on or near Alhambra Street, where PG&E has brought out several homeowners already.

The rest are near Safeway, and Gashouse Cove Marina.

"We understand that we have to build public trust, and this is a part of doing that," said a PG&E spokesperson. "Part of reaching out to the community, talking to the community about these issues is part of that rebuilding of public trust."

PG&E says toxins found within 10 feet of the surface will be or have already been removed, as was the case at the former gas station on Bay Street. Those found deeper in the ground will stay in place covered by a protective barrier.

Residents say they left feeling reassured that everything will be fine and that their property values won't be affected.

"Our property value would be affected if there were vapors coming up three flights," said one neighbor. "So I don't think that's going to be the case."

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