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Hunter’s Point vulnerable to groundwater contaminants raised by climate change

By Jessica Wolfrom, San Francisco Examiner, June 2, 2022

“Plans to redevelop the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, a 638-acre Superfund site on San Francisco’s southeastern shore, have been in the works for decades but have stalled numerous times due to scandal, the continual discovery of toxic materials, and years of neglect.

“Rising sea levels are poised to seep into groundwater in low-lying areas, including at Hunter’s Point shipyard, a former radiological research laboratory, and turn once-buried chemicals into what environmental activists call ‘a toxic soup’ of mobilized contaminants.

“[A] civil grand jury reaffirmed these concerns, releasing a detailed report that found San Francisco is poorly prepared for looming climate threats posed to its shoreline communities, and called for The City to more accurately predict how groundwater will react to rising tides.

“The report represents a win for environmental groups that have long demanded a full cleanup of the shipyard, and that claim The City has not been giving this issue enough attention.

“The report also found that only one city program is engaged in oversight of the cleanup.

“ ‘There are so many things that have gone wrong already, both in the toxically burdened Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood and in the Shipyard itself. Anything that could subject the people of this community and the people who will eventually live in the Shipyard to further risks must be taken very seriously,’ the report said.”

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