The Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, or HPNS, is located on 934 acres of waterfront in the southeast corner of San Francisco, California. It was founded as a commercial drydock in 1869 and owned privately by Union Iron Works and later Bethlehem Shipbuilding Company. The shipyard was purchased by the United States Navy in 1939, beginning its important role in service to our country. During World War I and World War II, the shipyard provided needed deep-water facilities between San Diego and Bremerton, Washington, where the Navy could conduct ship repair and maintenance of Naval vessels.
In addition to these activities, a portion of HPNS was used by the Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory (NRDL) from 1948 to 1969. NRDL decontaminated ships exposed to atomic weapons testing and also conducted research on the effects of radiation. The shipyard was an active Navy base until 1974. In 1976, much of the property was leased to a commercial ship repair company, Triple A Machine Shop, which repaired commercial and Naval vessels on the site until 1986 when the Navy reclaimed the shipyard.
Evaluating the Environment
In 1988, the former Shipyard entered the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Program, a federal program created to oversee the cleanup and transfer of military installations to public or private entities for redevelopment. In 1989, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) evaluated HPNS and placed it on the National Priorities List in response to concerns about the effects of past hazardous wastes created by historical shipyard activities by both the Navy and private companies. The Navy is continuing its extensive investigation of contaminated areas of the base and cleaning up the land and groundwater where contamination is found. The Navy's cleanup program is tailored to meet the City of San Francisco's current Redevelopment Plan.
HPNS Parcel Background and Cleanup Status
There are currently 11 parcels that the Navy is cleaning up at HPNS. When cleanup is completed, the property will be ready for redevelopment.
Parcel B was used to provide support and services for the repair and maintenance of submarines and ships. So far, the Navy has cleaned up a 14- acre site in the western porton of Parcel B; this included removal of concrete, metal debris, and contaminated soil. After the debris and contaminated soil was dug up, clean soil was placed at the site, a protective liner was installed, and the area was planted with native wildflowers and grasses. The Navy is continuing to monitor the site and has begun plans for cleanup of the remaining portions of Parcel B. The Navy plans to complete the cleanup actions in 2013 and transfer Parcel B to the City of San Francisco soon after.
Portons of Parcel C were used for ship repair and radiological research, but it also included a power plant and machine, metalworking, and paint shops. The Navy has completed extensive studies and the Remedial Design for Parcel C, which will help guide the Navy in removing and treatng soil and groundwater in this parcel.
Parcel D-1 was used for ship repair and maintenance, as well as radiological research. The Navy has thoroughly investigated this parcel and selected cleanup actions with public input and the agreement of regulatory agencies. The contaminated soil will be removed and disposed of offsite; then a cover of clean soil will be placed over the parcel. The groundwater will also be cleaned up.
Parcel D-2 contained a radiological equipment area and underground storage tanks. Investigations for this parcel focused on radionuclides, resulting in the discovery and removal of a very limited amount of contaminants. The Navy is preparing to transfer this parcel to the City of San Francisco in 2013.
Parcel E was used for industrial operations and radiological research. The Navy continues to investigate portions of the parcel, and has made great progress in cleaning up several radiological sites within the parcel. The Navy is performing focused studies on methods to treat several areas in Parcel E with contaminated groundwater. The Navy will issue a Proposed Plan to the public in February 2013. After receiving community comments, the Navy will develop the Record of Decision, which will document the selected cleanup method.
Parcel E-2 is the site of the HPNS landfill. The landfill contains construction debris, crushed bedrock, municipal trash, and many different industrial wastes. The Navy has removed more than 127,000 tons of contaminated soil and debris in Parcel E-2. Much of the soil contained PCBs, lead, and petroleum. The Navy issued a Proposed Plan to the public in September 2011. After receiving community comments, the Navy developed the Record of Decision for Parcel E-2, which was finalized in November 2012.
The portion of San Francisco Bay (off-shore area) surrounding HPNS is known as Parcel F. Historic shipyard activities resulted in possible contamination of the of sediment in the Bay. The Navy has completed numerous investigations and is in the process of evaluating the potential for low-level radiation to be present. Wooden piers that were falling apart have been removed from Parcel F.
Parcel G was used for ship repair and maintenance, as well as radiological research. The Navy investigated and removed contaminated soil, cleaned up areas of groundwater contamination, and will place a cover of clean soil on portions of Parcel G. The Navy plans to complete cleanup actions and transfer Parcel G to the City of San Francisco in late 2013.
Parcels UC-1, UC-2, and UC-3
The Navy is investigating and cleaning up the utility corridors, referred to as Parcels UC-1, UC-2, and UC-3. They are more commonly known as Spear Avenue, Fisher Avenue, Robinson Street, and Crisp Avenue. The Navy has removed all sewer and storm drain lines and has placed a clean soil cover over the parcel. In addition, groundwater monitoring will be done to evaluate the natural reduction of contaminants in the groundwater.
Reaching Out to the HPNS Community
A detailed Community Involvement Plan, or CIP, was written in 2011 to help the Navy work more closely with the community. The Navy will be updating the CIP in 2013; it will be available for review at the San Francisco Main Public Library, the HPNS Site Trailer, or online on the Navy’s HPNS website. The CIP presents a description of the types of activities and other materials the Navy is planning to involve community members in during the HPNS Cleanup Program, including:
• Attend a Community Meeting or Bus Tour
The Navy presents updates at bi-monthly community meetings to inform people about cleanup at HPNS. Meetings are typically held on the fourth Wednesday of every other month. Check the Navy’s HPNS website for the annual calendar of meetings, bus tours, and other events in your area.
• Call Our Local Information Line
The HPNS Info Line at (415) 295-4742 provides up-to-date information about cleanup activities planned for the former Shipyard, including meeting locations and times, and events that the Navy will be participating in.
• Join Our Email and Mailing Lists
If you would like to join HPNS’ e-mail and/or USPS mailing list(s) please send your information to the Navy at firstname.lastname@example.org. This HPNS email address can be used to communicate with the Navy, allowing community members to send questions or comments on cleanup activities, offer suggestions for a topic at an upcoming meeting, or sign up for a bus tour.
• Visit Our Website
Program information is available on the HPNS pages of the Navy’s website at http://www.bracpmo.navy.mil.
• Invite the Navy to Speak at One of Your Community Events
If you would like the Navy to attend one of your community meetings or events to provide an update on the HPNS Cleanup Program, please contact Matt Robinson, the Navy Community Involvement Manager, at (415) 295-4645 to express your interest.