The U.S. Navy is holding a meeting tonight to start developing a new community involvement plan for the long-term cleanup project of the former shipyards at Hunters Point.
The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. in the conference room of the Bayview YMCA, 1601 Lane St. in San Francisco.
The Navy operated a shipyard on the site from 1945 through 1974, then leased it to a private shipyard operator until 1986. Since then, it has been developing a clean-up plan to deal with toxic and radioactive waste remaining at the site, a legacy from early experiments and atomic weapons testing.
Meanwhile, the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency has partnered with developer Lennar to propose a large new development on part of the site that includes 10,500 new homes, along with commercial and cultural spaces.
Keith Forman, the environmental coordinator for the Navy cleanup process, said that tonight’s meeting is focused on developing a survey to help gather information and develop a new community involvement plan.
The clean-up project’s long-term budget and schedule called for a new plan in 2010, he said.
In December 2009, the Navy formally dissolved a citizens input group, the Hunters Point Shipyard Restoration Advisory Board. In a Dec. 22 letter confirming the dissolution, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy Richard Mach wrote that “irresolvable internal issues” kept board members from effectively advising the Navy on the cleanup process.
“Conversations developed into acrimony and accusation on issues which had little or nothing to do with HPS environmental restoration,” he wrote.
The move angered advisory board members who also took issue with the Navy’s plans to cap, rather than remove the hazardous waste in parts of the site. A number of people criticized this plan at recent public hearings the city has held on the development project’s environmental report.
Forman noted that tonight’s meeting applies only to the Navy cleanup of the site, and not the development proposal.