Building Housing on top of Munitions Bunkers at Treasure Island

Map of Site 12 showing the radiation found in the TREASURE ISLAND, SITE 12 GAMMA SURVEY REPORT
SURVEY DATES: APRIL 5-7, 2011 The red areas are three times the background level of radiation requiring removal.
BASEWIDE ENVIRONMENTAL BASELINE SURVEY REPORT FOR NAVAL STATION TREASURE ISLAND, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, MAY 19, 1995 Note the T numbers
PRELIMINARY ASSESSMENT SITE INSPECTION OF NAVAL STATION TREASURE ISLAND, CA. VOLUME I, NEESA 13-092, NAVAL ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY, Port Hueneme, California 93043 April 1988

Treasure Island had Ammunition Bunkers located under the housing of the base which is located on the left side of this map and here is a close up below.

The Baseline survey claimed the Navy destroyed the bunkers before they built housing on the site but the bunkers are still there and the Navy has recovered munitions including a report in 2019 of a Japanese Mortar with over 6 pounds of high Explosive just in that one bomb which just for that one item the required setback for any civilian construction is 180 feet according to 27 CFR § 555.218 – Table of distances for storage of explosive materials. https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/27/555.218.

27 CFR § 555.218 – Table of distances for storage of explosive materials. https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/27/555.218
27 CFR § 555.218 – Table of distances for storage of explosive materials. https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/27/555.218

The Japanese Mortar Shell was one of many munitions listed in the 2019 report removed and detonated at Travis Air Force Base according to the
FINAL POST-CONSTRUCTION SUMMARY REPORT Non-Time Critical Removal Action for Solid Waste Disposal Areas Westside Drive, Bayside Drive, and North Point Drive, Radiological Characterization, Building Demolition, and Remediation, Installation Restoration Site 12 (Phase III) FORMER NAVAL STATION TREASURE ISLAND SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, December 2019, p 4-24

This discrepancy between one report saying that something was destroyed in the 1970s and a 2019 report where they actually dug up the site and found explosives in the underground bunkers seems to be a theme with Treasure Island reports.

The 1988 Preliminary Evaluation/ Site Inspection Report which was prepared by the Navy to apply for an EPA Superfund cleanup identified sections of the Island that needed to be cleaned up. Unfortunately that report failed to identify the radioactive areas by taking samples as they took the Navy’s word for it that nothing like that ever happened on the island even when the training for the the Atomic, Biological and Chemical Warfare Training was taking place on the island WHILE that report was being prepared. It was all classified and so the information was not revealed to the EPA by the Navy. If they had informed the EPA that they were using Biological, Chemical, and Radiological materials including Mustard Gas, this whole mess could have been avoided and countless people would be alive today!

PRELIMINARY ASSESSMENT SITE INSPECTION OF NAVAL STATION TREASURE ISLAND, CA. VOLUME I, NEESA 13-092, NAVAL ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY, Port Hueneme, California 93043 April 1988

The 1995 Baseline Survey for Treasure Island was created to identify areas of the island that did not need to be cleaned up as the Navy was facing a huge task of having to provide the land to the city and they did not want to end up cleaning the whole island. So the report divided up the island into smaller areas with inventories of all items including histories that they could gather from the records of the time, unclassified records and inspections. It is from the 1995 Baseline Survey that the following information is gathered of the Ammunition Bankers and here is a close up of that map showing the housing on the bunkers and the radiation training area:

Close up of the 1995 Baseline report T Numbers T103, T104, T106

The following information on site T103 and T104, from the BASEWIDE ENVIRONMENTAL BASELINE SURVEY REPORT FOR NAVAL STATION TREASURE ISLAND, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, MAY 19, 1995 is the file: Basewide EBS, Appendix A T091 through T110 (10of19).pdf  Note the last date for Applicable date in this report is 1993 so most of this housing is still there unless it was torn down to remove radioactive objects and poisonous chemicals!

Site T103, Site 12
LocationUseApplicable DateRemarks
1100 Area (40 Buildings)Housing1966-1993194 Three Bedroom units, 46 four bedroom units
1200 Area (1201 through 1254; 54 buildingsHousing1966-199362 two bedroom units, 190 three bedroom units, 88 four bedroom units
277Ammo Mag. Storage, storage1945, 1948, 1961Demolished between 1961 and 1971
282 Ammo Mag. Storage, storage 1945, 1948, 1961 Demolished between 1961 and 1971
345Incinerator1951-1959Demolished 1959
54Magazine1944
278Ammo Mag. Storage, storage1945, 1948, 1961Demolished between 1961 and 1971
283Ammo Mag. Storage, storage1945, 1948, 1961 Demolished between 1961 and 1971, currently site of family housing
43-47, 49, 50-53Ammunition Storage, magazine, storage1942, 1948, 1944, 1945, 1961Demolished prior 12/71
279Ammo Mag, small craft ship garage, storage1945, 1948, 1961Demolished between 1961 and 1971
280Ammo Mag, Medical Storage, storage1945, 1948, 1961 Demolished between 1961 and 1971
281Ammo Mag, Film Storage, indoor small bore range1945, 1948, 1961 Demolished between 1961 and 1971
285Ammo Mag, storage, storage1945, 1948, 1961 Demolished between 1961 and 1971, currently site of family housing
286Ammo Mag, tear gas storage, storage1945, 1948, 1961 Demolished between 1961 and 1971, currently site of family housing
287Ammo Mag, film storage, storage1945, 1948, 1961 Demolished between 1961 and 1971, currently site of family housing
T104
Part of the 1100 Area (40 Buildings) see T103 listing above Housing 1966-1993 194 Three Bedroom units, 46 four bedroom units

Treasure Island trained sailors to operate Naval ordinance and Naval Guns like any other Naval Base. Here is the list of courses taught in 1946 which would be indicative of the weapons used on the island during World War II: https://hdl.handle.net/2027/uiug.30112119813316?urlappend=%3Bseq=60
15 February 1946 Naval Training Bulletin list of courses on two pages

Trenches dug into Site 12 at the bunkers for trash and locations and sizes of ammunition bunkers

T106 The Chemical Warfare School site

951 TI-ATOMIC AND CHEMICAL TRAINING IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 1951 https://treasureislandcalifornia.wordpress.com/2020/12/27/ti-atomic-and-chemical-training-in-the-san-francisco-area-1951/

T106 Building 264 Chemical storage site, just happens to coincide with the Chemical Warfare School and it includes unused refrigeration lockers in Southern Half of the Building, Tool Room contains emergency equipment, Extensive piping between three old refrigeration compressors and refrigeration lockers. Wood finishing chemicals used on as needed basis. Thought to be a morgue. Here is the page:

BASEWIDE ENVIRONMENTAL BASELINE SURVEY REPORT FOR NAVAL STATION TREASURE ISLAND, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, MAY 19, 1995 is the file: Basewide EBS, Appendix A T091 through T110 (10of19).pdf 

The Eastern portion of T106 is public housing

SITE 2

Site 2 in the 1988 Navy Report to the EPA, the Radiological Training Area was later incorporated into Site 12. It shows the Atomic, Biological and Chemical Training mock up of a Ship the USS Pandemonium which was later moved to the northeastern part of the island. Today housing is located directly over the training site. The Navy failed to take any samples for the 1988 and 1995 reports. Oops!

Below is one of the radiological reports from 2011 showing the Radium found under the site of the Radiological Training Area which is in the red areas including the red and yellow areas. I will be reporting on the radiation maps in the next article. But note when the Navy says that there is no radiation on the site in 1995, the 2011 report showing the radiological survey by using a towed device that had several radiological counters onboard that was driven all over the roads and yards of Site 12 prove they lied. There is no excuse. 55 Rems of Radium was dug up on this site. The Navy lied!

The site also included Field Guns and an aircraft to train military personnel to decontaminate these mock ups. In later reports the concrete foundation for the aircraft was referred to as a helipad. The view of Site 12 at the beginning of this article contains a view of the radiation found under the site. Here are my two of articles on the training that took place on this site.

Sites T101 and T102 make up the Site 12 Radiological Training Area location which is where the 55 Rems per year of radiation was found on this site.

The following information is from the Baseline study in 1995 BASEWIDE ENVIRONMENTAL BASELINE SURVEY REPORT FOR NAVAL STATION TREASURE ISLAND, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, MAY 19, 1995 is the file: Basewide EBS, Appendix A T091 through T110 (10of19).pdf 

“Parcel T101, 3.66 acres in size, is currently occupied by multi-unit family housing. Currently, four residential buildings (Buildings 1302, 1309, 1310, and 1311) and associated structures (i.e., carports and trash enclosures) occupy approximately 30 percent of the parcel. The remaining 70 percent of the parcel is open space. The 1300 block buildings are four bedroom units, constructed in 1974. A portion of another building (Building 1312) also exists on this parcel.

Historically, the site has been occupied by several buildings that have since been demolished. These former buildings include Buildings 318 and 322 (former gun mounts), and Buildings 319, 320, and 321 (used as school mock-ups).

As previously listed in Table 4-3, environmental issues of concern affecting Parcel T101 are discussed below:”

The report goes on to deny that anything adverse happened there, that there is no evidence of Chemical Storage Radiological issues etc even though the mock ups are the first USS pandemonium, the airplane used for decontamination training, and a field gun. Nothing about the Mustard Gas experiments conducted on the site. This report gives a clean bill of health to the site, deceiving everyone of the actual contamination discovered later in the clean up.

T102

“Parcel T102, 8.81 acres in size, is currently occupied by multi-unit family housing. Currently, eleven residential buildings (Buildings 1312 through 1319, Building 1321, Building 1323, and Building 1325) and associated structures (i.e., carports and trash enclosures) occupy approximately 30 percent of the parcel. The 1300 block buildings are four bedroom units, constructed in 1974. The remaining 70 percent of the parcel is open space.

Historically, the site has been occupied by several buildings that have since been demolished: Building 359 (used for mobile decontamination and storage), Building 269 (used for offices and chemical warfare instruction), Building 273 (used for decontamination and damage control), Building 192 (used for storage and as a degaussing range), Building 193 (used for a garage and storage), and Building 288 (used as a tear gas chamber, storage, and classroom).

  • As previously listed in Table 4-3, environmental issues of concern affecting Parcel T102 are discussed below:”
  • No evidence found of current or former chemical storage.
  • No evidence found of current or former hazardous waste generation and/or storage.
  • Radioactive water, apparently containing Bromine-82, was reportedly collected in concrete tanks located at the southern edge of the parcel (12th Street and Avenue B). This area of the site was investigated in 1971; the investigation recommended no additional remedial investigation. This area was formerly known as IR Site 2 (Radiation Training Area).
  • According to RASA (reference KSL128), “…there is no potential for residual contamination at NAVSTA TI as a result of licensed activities and no radioactive materials were disposed of on site….”
  • A radon screening program was conducted in 1991. No buildings were identified as having radon gas levels above 4 pCi/L; therefore, no further investigation is warranted or planned.
  • Radon testing was conducted on the 1300 block housing units. Eighteen tests were conducted; all of the results were <0.5 pCi/L.
  • No current or former spills/incidents identified.

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