Got radium-226, uranium-238, VOCs, SVOCs, PAHs, Pesticides, Metals, and Dioxins/Furans?

We sure do.  At The Point. Moreover the Navy has a nifty (not) plan to save themselves millions in soil remediation which will place an ongoing/forever and multi-million dollar burden on our fair city to protect our environmental and public health. How do you spell #FAIL?

Guest post by Francis McIlveen

“The Navy’s proposed (solutions to provide) steel bulkheads would have to be inspected every year for corrosion, and then tested every 5 years ($25K each test), and then cost another $50K every 10 years to replace the sacrificial zinc or aluminum anodes .  (see FFS, the section on the details of the WIB, and the estimated future maintenacnce requirements/costs). in the splash zone (where waves splash the steel) the steel is expected to wear away at the rate of 7 to 8 millimeters per year. (also in the FFS).

So, that means . . . in order to have a steel piling thick enough to contain the uranium-238 in the soil there, long enough until the uranium is only 1/2 as deadly as it is today (b/c of the 4.4 billion year half life), it would take a steel piling about 206 miles thick!

Or maybe not:  as long as the city of alameda commits to spending $44 TRILLION during that time, it will keep the bulkhead inspected & maintained (at an estimated cost, per the FFS, of $100,000 every 10 years = $25K per 5 year inspection, and $50K per 10 year maintenance).”

~~~~~SPEAK OUT

What: Meeting and public education regarding disposition of Alameda Point’s “burn site” – on north west tip of former base

When: Tuesday,  April 9th

5:30 – 6:15: informal discussion with Navy PM and consultant, RAB members, and interested residents

6:30 – 8:00: view Navy posters of the site and talk to available Navy personnel

Where: Stafford Room, main library on Oak street @ Lincoln

~~~~~LEARN MORE from Francis McIlveen in his open letter to all Alamedans:

Dear fellow Alamedan:

we have an important opportunity this Tuesday (april 9th) to talk with Navy representatives, and with enviornmental regulators, about a proposed change in the clean up plan for the toxic waste dump created by the Navy at Alameda Point.  It’s called IR Site 1.  And on this site is an area where over many decades, the Navy dumped and burned an astonishing array of highly toxic and radioactive wastes, and pushed it with bulldozers into the marshland and Bay waters.

Initially (in 2009), the Navy proposed excavating the toxic soil (even digging below ground water level where deemed necessary) and removing it offsite (i.e. disposing of it at a real, regulated waste dump).

However, since then, the Navy ordered a feasibility study, published recently, which dramatically scales back the scope of the proposed clean up.  The new plan is to essentially leave everything there; to install steel-foam bulkheads at the shoreline, and back fill that area with much of the contaminated soil, and to then cover it with ground cover plantings.

Not surprisingly, this new ‘preferred alternative’ only costs 1/3 of the original plan.  ($13 million v.s. $45 million).

Here’s what is at risk:  the new plan (and the computer model used to assess the risks) doesn’t take into account long-term climate issues (such as the 200 year mega-floods, which will completely submerse that area under flood water, as it did in 1862, and have a significant impact on the stability of the containment structures & ground cover), not to mention recent realizations about climate change & sea level rise.  What we must avoid here in Alameda is having these toxic and radioactive materials spread over our beaches, residential & commercial areas when mega-flooding occurs (in the next 50 to 150 years, see article below).  We don’t have to look far for examples of how pollution exacerbates the human tragedy of catastrophic floods (e.g. the large areas of New Orleans after Katrina).  Remember, that the particles of radium & uranium, widely dispersed over everything in a flood path, will be highly carcinogenic if ingested or inhaled.  and their danger will persist for tens of thousands of years.

(regarding the 200 year megafloods in No. California, see:

http://www.novim.org/resources/novim-news/275-megastorms-could-drown-massive-portions-of-california

None of this appears to have been taken into account when developing the risk model for justifying the new, clean-up-lite plan at IR Site 1.  the computer (conceptual) model for assessing the risk of soil and groundwater contaminants leaching/migrating out of the area (and e.g. in the Bay, or surounding ground water), was based on data from a 77 day period of tidal action on the ground water.  And that small sliver of time-data was extrapolated to predict “the migration and mixing of contaminants from the Burn Area into San Francisco Bay and Oakland Inner Harbor over the next 1,000 years.”

in other words, they took a snapshot of 77 days of tidal fluctuations, and concluded that the risk for the next 1,000 years was negligible enough to not excavate and remove the toxic wastes.

In case you’re curious, the list of contaminants include:

VOCs SVOCs

1,2-Dichlorobenzene

2,4-Dimethylphenol

2-Hexanone

Acetone

PAHs

Benzene

Acenaphthene

cis-1,2-Dichloroethene

Anthracene

Ethylbenzene

Benzo(a)anthracene

m-Xylene & p-Xylene

Benzo(a)pyrene

Methylene chloride

Benzo(b)fluoranthene

Naphthalene

Benzo(g,h,i)perylene

o-Xylene

Benzo(k)fluoranthene

Toluene

Chrysene

trans-1,2-Dichloroethene

Dibenz(a,h)anthracene

Vinyl chloride

Fluoranthene

1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene

Fluorene

1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene

Indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene

4-Isopropyltoluene

Naphthalene

n-Butylbenzene

Phenanthrene

n-Propylbenzene

Pyrene

sec-Butylbenzene

Pesticides

4,4′-DDD

4,4′-DDE

beta-BHC

Metals

Barium

Cadmium

Chromium

Cobalt

Copper

Lead

Manganese

Molybdenum

Nickel

Silver

Thallium

Dioxins/Furans

1,2,3,4,7,8-HxCDD

1,2,3,6,7,8-HxCDD

1,2,3,4,6,7,8-HpCDD

1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9-OCDD

2,3,7,8-TCDF

1,2,3,7,8-PeCDF

2,3,4,7,8-PeCDF

1,2,3,4,7,8-HxCDF

1,2,3,6,7,8-HxCDF

2,3,4,6,7,8-HxCDF

1,2,3,7,8,9-HxCDF

1,2,3,4,6,7,8-HpCDF

1,2,3,4,7,8,9-HpCDF

1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9-OCDF

and

radium-226 and uranium-238

this site is the most toxic of the toxic sites at Alameda Point…it was after all, THE toxic waste dump of a very toxic & polluted industrial complex.

We really need to do what we can to hold the Navy responsible…which means cleaning up the site properly so that our great grand children won’t have reason to hate us for ‘sweeping’ this truly ugly mess under the rug.  It will be only a matter of time before it surfaces.

And here is your chance:

What: Meeting and public education regarding disposition of Alameda Point’s “burn site” – on north west tip of former base

When: Tuesday,  April 9th;

5:30 – 6:15: informal discussion with Navy PM and consultant, RAB members, and interested residents

6:30 – 8:00: view Navy posters of the site and talk to available Navy personnel

Where: Stafford Room, main library on Oak street @ Lincoln

As always,

Francis McIlveen

(Source documents are here.)

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About Denise Lai

Alive. Swim (fly is the best). Walking with my dog (weims are the best). Life is good. Would prefer people understood negative externalities and prevented themselves from creating them. Feeling the love anyway. View all posts by Denise Lai

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