Environmental report stirs fierce Hunters Point shipyard debate

Uncertainty about cleanup plans and a proposal to build a bridge at a shuttered shipyard dominated an environmental debate about epic redevelopment plans during a City Hall hearing Tuesday.

One of the largest building projects in San Francisco history is planned on and around the shuttered Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, where a hotel, marina, entertainment arena and more than 10,000 homes could help restore long-lost economic prosperity in the area during the coming decades.

A football stadium also is proposed, but the 49ers have rejected the plan in favor of a move to Santa Clara.

Environmental and neighborhood activists lodged protests against The City’s environmental review of the project, which must be finalized under California law before any construction-related work can begin.

Appellants argued that an environmental impact report, which took three years to prepare, failed to properly analyze alternative ideas to a bridge planned over Yosemite Slough or the effects of building near a radioactive dump.

The Navy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are slated to announce cleanup plans for the dump next year.

Supervisor Chris Daly said during the hearing that the report failed to provide him with environmental information needed to make informed decisions about the project or its environmental review because it didn’t say whether dump contents would be excavated or merely covered.

Plans to redevelop the 702-acre area are widely supported, but fierce battles between political factions have erupted over the specific building plans, which some neighbors fear will push up the cost of living and force them to move.

The Board of Supervisors was debating into the night and preparing to vote on whether the environmental impact report should be certified or whether it needs additional work by city planning officials.

jupton@sfexaminer.com

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