Military Dumps Threaten S.F. Bay, Report Says
Fifty-three contaminated sites on eight defense facilities have polluted or threaten to pollute the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, according to a federal study released Sunday.
Nine of the sites--located at Travis Air Force Base, the Naval Weapons Station in Concord and the Naval Air Station at Moffett Field--have leaked hazardous materials that have polluted the bay or delta, the study by the U.S. General Accounting Office said.
Another 44 sites at those facilities and five others--the former Hamilton Air Force Base, Mare Island Naval Shipyard, the Stockton Naval Communication Station, the Alameda Naval Air Station and the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard--were found to have the potential for leaking hazardous wastes into the bay or delta.
The GAO study, based on information from the Environmental Protection Agency and state sources from January, 1984, through December, 1986, noted that none of the sites has been completely cleaned up.
“The report paints a picture of a federal facility negligence in complying with federal and state environmental protection laws,” said Rep. Vic Fazio (D-West Sacramento), who released the study in Washington. “It also makes it clear that the Pentagon is not doing enough to clean up these toxic hot spots in the bay region.”
The study indicated that federal facilities are not a major source of overall pollution in the region, Fazio said, but said the Department of Defense is responsible for potential problems.
“The fact that DOD is responsible for only a minor portion of overall bay and delta pollution does not mitigate the significance of potential localized effects of water contamination,” he544432489Department of Defense, not being fully responsive to the directives of federal and state regulatory bodies.”
He said he is concerned that “this pattern may exist in other parts of the country . . . " and has asked for an extended national study.
The Treasure Island Naval Station is the only federal installation among 65 major waste-water treatment facilities allowed by state regulatory agencies to discharge treated waste-water into the bay or delta. Although the station is in compliance with its permit requirements, it has a history of violations.
Rep. George Miller (D-Martinez) said the study shows “a continuing pattern of toxic contamination . . . At a time of historic threats to bay and delta health, at a time when we are putting great pressure on the private sector to clean up their waste, it is unconscionable for the Pentagon and the federal government to continue to contribute to the pollution of the bay.”
Rep. Barbara Boxer (D-Greenbrae) said the study is “most timely in view of the home porting of more Navy ships in the San Francisco Bay.”