Neighbors outraged after toxic soil confirmed in SF's Bayview

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Years of suspicion were confirmed for Bayview Hunters Point residents who have been worried about radioactive soil in their neighborhood.

"We need this mess cleaned up, and I mean today not tomorrow," said Mavis Williams of the Bayview Mothers and Fathers Committee for Health and Environmental Justice.

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. Remnants of the old nuclear warfare research lab were found. It is slated to be redeveloped into housing.

"Every time they survey anywhere around here it comes up dirty," said Michelle Pierce of the Bayview Hunters Point Community Advocates.

Pierce grew up in Hunters Point and feels the Navy and developers Lennar and Five Points have been taking advantage of her community. "I think the hope is that we will all be dead before they can sell their next $1.2 million condo and that's a problem."

"I understand people's frustration," said Derek Robinson, who is an environmental coordinator for the Navy. He and others from the Navy held a community meeting with maps and timelines chronicling the site and cleanup missteps and their action plan. "It involves additional sampling, radiological scanning and re-excavating some areas."

"Up until these reports came out the Navy has basically shut us out," said David Anton, an attorney who represents the Tetra Tech whistleblowers who were ordered to swap in uncontaminated soil samples to replace the radioactive ones. he's wary of the Navy's new cleanup plan. "Their statements that they're doing everything to protect health and safety are not true," he added.

Meanwhile, redevelopment plans have been put on hold for the next year.
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