Radiation History on Treasure Island More Widespread Than Reported
Radioactive contamination at the Treasure Island Naval Station, where San Francisco plans to build a high-rise community for 20,000 residents, is more widespread than previously disclosed, according to a new U.S. Navy report and other documents obtained by The Bay Citizen.
Although the Navy and one state agency say cleanup has been effective and remaining radiation levels are low, the state Department of Public Health expressed alarm as recently as May, saying earlier studies showing fewer radioactive sites led to a botched cleanup effort and the potential spread of contaminants both on and off the island.
The findings appear likely to complicate the environmental cleanup and new construction on Treasure Island after years of debate - much of it shielded from the public - over the island’s radioactive hazards. Internal emails and documents obtained by The Bay Citizen leading up to the findings reveal numerous new areas of concern squarely in the path of the planned development.
The draft report, dated Aug. 6, marks the first time the Navy has fully acknowledged that the island, created from landfill in 1937, was used as a repair and salvage operation for a Pacific fleet exposed to atomic blasts during the Cold War. The report came in response to state regulators, who pressed for details after cleanup workers found radioactive waste in unexpected locations.