As the city of San Francisco attempts to build new government housing on a former nuclear test site, an investigation has revealed that the contractors who were supposed to clean up the area intentionally botched the work, even going as far as to swap soil samples from contaminated sites with clean ones.
NBC Bay Area reported that the U.S. Navy is now admitting that the work completed by Tetra Tech, the contractor it hired to clean up the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, resulted in “evidence of potential data manipulation and falsification.”
A comprehensive review of the radiological data Tetra Tech collected from 80 acres out of the shipyard’s nearly 1,000 acres of land was ordered by Navy consultants last year after there were accusations of widespread fraud.
While the local affiliate claimed that Navy officials caught Tetra Tech mishandling soil samples and falsifying data in several locations in 2014, Curbed San Francisco reported that the company’s contractors, who have “a long history of winning government contracts,” were first accused of falsifying soil samples in 2012.
The goal for the former nuclear test site was to build 12,000 homes and 5 million square feet of office and commercial space. A report from Business Insider noted that the price tag for the renovations is $8 billion, which would be added to the $1 billion the government has already spent on the site’s cleanup since the 1990s.
Hunters Point provided a space for secret laboratory testing on the effects of radiation on living subjects, and on the effects of nuclear weapons on ships, from 1948 to 1969. The site was also used to store military equipment and ships that had been contaminated by atomic bomb explosions and toxic substances, according to a report from the San Francisco Chronicle.
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The hazardous chemicals that polluted the soil in the area included petroleum fuels, pesticides, and heavy metals. However, despite paying contractors $1 billion to clean up the site, the U.S. Navy is now finding that the workers it paid intentionally botched the job.
Insidiously enough, while trying to build housing that would expose residents to potentially deadly radiation, they just fined a couple $2 million for providing poor and disabled veterans with affordable housing.
As The Free Thought Project has reported, this phenomenon of the government’s reckless actions having dire effects on innocent Americans is nothing new. A recent study found that the Pentagon has contaminated more than 40,000 sites across the United States, exposing hundreds of thousands of Americans to dangerous chemicals.
The investigation, which was conducted by ProPublica and Vox, revealed that by testing and disposing of deadly chemical weapons in the United States, the Pentagon has “poisoned drinking water supplies, rendered millions of acres of land unsafe or unusable, and jeopardized the health of often unwitting Americans.”
The study noted that while the Pentagon has spent more than $40 billion in an effort to clean up the contaminated sites over the years, the results have been overwhelmingly inadequate, and many Americans are still at risk, even after the government claims that the sites have been rendered “safe” for public use.
The Department of Defense and its contractors are also currently using at least 61 active military sites across the country to “burn and detonate unused munitions and raw explosives in the open air with no environmental emissions controls,” according to a series of bombshell reports from ProPublica also reported that give insight into the largest source of pollution in the country: The Pentagon.