FBI wiretap hints at Shipyard bid-rigging scheme as trial begins for indicted contractors

By Michael Barba : sfexaminer – excerpt

New transcripts of a phone call the FBI wiretapped during an investigation into San Francisco political corruption reveal an alleged bid-rigging scheme involving a contract for the development of the Hunters Point Shipyard.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office filed excerpts of the transcripts last week as new evidence in the fraud trial of Peter McKean and Clifton Burch, two local contractors who were among the many caught in the sweeping FBI investigation into Chinatown gangster Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow…

The trial, which opened in federal court on Monday, alleges that McKean, Burch and group of others conspired to cheat the competitive bidding process for a $5.6 million federal contract in Berkeley. Both contractors deny that any bid-rigging occured… (more)

Report: Navy using outdated standards in cleanup at Hunters Point Shipyard

By Laura Waxmann : sfexaminer – excerpt

Cleanup standards used by the Navy in the radioactive remediation at the Hunters Point Shipyard over the past decade were outdated and far less protective than current standards required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, according to a new report released Tuesday.

The report is the third in a series of independent projects examining the shipyard cleanup conducted over a three-year-period by former researchers at the University of California at Santa Cruz, under the nonprofit Committee to Bridge the Gap…

The report also alleges that cleanup levels used by the Navy for contaminated soil were set in 1991 and are “much less protective” than current EPA requirements…(more)

 

Radioactive object found near homes at Hunters Point shipyard

This Treadwell and Rollo map may help you keep track of the parcels. A radioactive piece of metal was found on the top of the hill about a foot underground on Parcel A near an area that was declared safe for housing years ago.

A highly radioactive object has been discovered at the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard next to a housing area that has been declared safe and free of radioactive contamination for more than a decade, The Chronicle has learned.

The finding is the latest problem at San Francisco’s most ambitious redevelopment project in a century — an effort to transform a 500-acre Superfund waste site into a bustling waterfront neighborhood of 12,000 homes.

The object — a radium deck marker about the size of a silver dollar, 1½ inches across — was unearthed Tuesday on a grassy slope beneath a stretch of newly built condos, less than a foot below ground. The state health department revealed the information Thursday in a “Progress Update” letter sent to the shipyard homeowners’ association and obtained by The Chronicle… (more)

Navy does damage control for Pelosi, Feinstein and Lennar as it continues to claim Treasure Island and Hunters Point Shipyard are ‘safe’

by Steve Zeltzer KFPA WorkWeek Radio : sfbayview -excerpt

Another $22 million down the rat hole?

The U.S. Navy had its annual dog and pony show at the Treasure Island Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) meeting on Tuesday, June 19, 2018. The previous meeting included a Tetra Tech representative and a loud confrontation, but this time Tetra Tech representatives were not on the panel since there are now two Tetra Tech managers in federal prison for falsifying the cleanup records at Hunters Point and an ongoing grand jury investigation with likely more sealed indictments that could lead to further criminal action against the top management of Tetra Tech.

Since the scandal blow-up, however, Congresswoman Pelosi has arranged to get another $42 million from the budget reconciliation bill for more retesting on formerly tested contaminated land in the Superfund site at Hunters Point Shipyard. This is after $1 billion has already been expended by the U.S. government to clean up Hunters Point Shipyard and Treasure Island, which are both Superfund sites… (more)

State will test developed portion of Hunters Point Shipyard, but critics say it won’t be enough

 by j.k. Dineen : sfgate – excerpt

…The California Department of Public Health told The Chronicle that the work, which is scheduled to be wrapped up in the fall, will “address the radiological health and safety of the environment” of the area known as Parcel A, where 450 homes are either completed or under construction. The Navy will pay for the work.

But experts and shipyard residents are already questioning whether the proposed method of testing — using sodium iodide detectors — will adequately determine whether the soil at Parcel A is clean.

Dan Hirsch, retired director of the Program on Environmental and Nuclear Policy at UC Santa Cruz, said that the “gamma radiation” scanners the state is proposing will not detect two of the most harmful isotopes found at the Hunters Point Superfund site, strontium-90 and plutonium-239.

While the sort of Geiger counter the state is planning on using can be helpful in determining whether some radioactive materials are present in the ground, actual soil samples need to be gathered and analyzed in a lab to determine whether soil is truly clean, he said.

“It’ll be like walking around with a blindfold and saying, ‘I can’t see anything,’” he said. Sodium iodide detectors “are never used alone or instead of soil samples — unless you are trying to do a PR stunt for the press and the political figures.”… (more)

This might be a good time to actually overdo the tests instead of taking the cheap way out, to return some basis for trust in the system that so obviously failed before.

 

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