Shipyard to be transferred to city not entirely free of pollutants 

The shuttered Hunters Point Naval Shipyard is not expected to be fully cleaned up before its ownership is transferred to San Francisco for redevelopment.

The shipyard, which is on the U.S. EPA’s Superfund list of the nation’s most polluted sites, is contaminated with heavy metals, radioactive waste and other pollution left behind by decades of Navy operations.

The Navy is performing a variety of cleanup activities at the long-disused site, including the excavation and removal of dangerously polluted dirt and fill.

The City, however, is pursuing an “early transfer” transaction, which would see it take over the land from the Navy before it has been fully cleaned, mayoral development adviser Michael Cohen said during a Board of Supervisors Land Use and Economic Development Committee hearing Monday.

The City plans to give the land to private developers led by Lennar Corp. for development and minor cleanup-related purposes. Lennar would lay infrastructure and then return streets and other public amenities to San Francisco.

Clean-up work as most people understand it is not planned to be undertaken by the development companies. Instead, they plan to pour dirt or lay streets or concrete building foundations over polluted land.

“We expect the vast majority of the shipyard will be cleaned to residential standards,” Cohen said. “Everything that needs to be taken out of the ground is being taken out of the ground.”

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John Upton

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