Lennar's litmus test - Page 3

Lennar Corp. is proposing to build 10,500 new homes in southeast San Francisco, mostly on publicly-owned land. Will the Board of Supervisors stand up to its juggernaut?

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Lennar Corp. is proposing to build 10,500 new homes in southeast San Francisco, mostly on publicly-owned land

Bloom reserved gravest concern for plans to cap, not remove, the contaminants from the shipyard's Parcel E2. "The concern is that if you put a cap on E2 without a liner then contaminants could scootch out during a seismic event, or over time, and cause problems because of the parcel's close proximity to surrounding groundwater and the San Francisco Bay," he said. "But to place a liner in there is very expensive because you'd have to excavate E2, at which point you might as well replace it with clean soil."

Bloom acknowledged that the Navy has argued that excavation would cause a nasty smell and nobody knows what is going to be released in the process.

"But long-term Bayview residents like Espanola Jackson have made the point that the community already lives within nose-shot of the southeast sewage treatment plant and would rather put up with a few years of nasty smells, given the relative benefits of cleaning the yard up," he said. "And how do we know a cap will be protective given the Navy's argument that we don't know what's down there?

"The thing that makes the most sense here is to clean up the shipyard to the best possible extent, but the city isn't planning to do that," Bloom added. "And the environmental community's bottom line has always been the bridge [over Yosemite Slough, which the Sierra Club opposes]. So the sense is that if the bridge goes away, so does their problem."