Demolition Underway at Alameda Point

Developer finding ways to recycle material

The heavy equipment was already demolishing buildings and pavement as the ceremonial groundbreaking took place on May 23.  Workers had already leveled many of the structures.  They had already begun separating the remains into distinct piles of concrete, asphalt, structural steel, sheet metal and rebar for recycling.

“Everything that can be recycled is being recycled,” said Joe Ernst, president of srmErnst, one of the Alameda Point Partners group busy at Site A.  “In our bidding we pushed for everything to be separated and recycled, with the value of recycled material offsetting demo cost.  All of the ground-up asphalt and concrete will remain onsite and be used under streets and any exterior concrete structures and surfaces.” Continue reading “Demolition Underway at Alameda Point”

Navy’s Cleanup Drawing Scrutiny

Recent revelations of falsified cleanup data at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in San Francisco have caused many people to wonder about the integrity of cleanup at Alameda Point.  Can we trust the Navy’s reports concluding that goals have been met and land is suitable for transfer to the City?

The Navy thinks we can.  “To date, the Navy found no indication of data falsification at Alameda,” said Cecily Sabedra, Navy Environmental Coordinator for Alameda Point.

But more importantly, the rigorous and extensive testing requirements of cleanup at Superfund sites suggest that the process itself is what the public should look to for reassurance.  The data review process is exactly why a couple of employees were caught handing in fake soil samples at Hunters Point.

Groundwater cleanup is a good place to look at how the process has been working at Alameda Point, considering that is where the majority of the contamination has been.  The groundwater contamination resulted from releases of jet fuel and cleaning solvent and two leaky gas stations.  This cleanup has left the base riddled with groundwater sampling wells and injection wells used for injecting cleanup solutions or extracting pollutants. Continue reading “Navy’s Cleanup Drawing Scrutiny”

Ocean Cleanup Project to Launch from Alameda Point

Plastic is one of the biggest threats the oceans face today.  The Ocean Cleanup organization has a plan to start cleaning it up.  It has designed and tested a floating net system that will be assembled at Alameda Point and towed out to the Pacific Ocean garbage patch this summer.

“The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the largest of the five offshore plastic accumulation zones in the world’s oceans,” states The Ocean Cleanup.  “It is located halfway between Hawaii and California.”

For the past two years, Ocean Cleanup has been systematically retrieving trash and analyzing the contents.  “The vast majority of plastics retrieved were made of rigid or hard polyethylene (PE) or polypropylene (PP), or derelict fishing gear (nets and ropes particularly),” states the group.  The trash ranged in size from small fragments to larger objects and meter-sized fishing nets.  Forty-six percent of the total mass is made up of fishing nets.

The following videos from Ocean Cleanup tell the story in more detail. Continue reading “Ocean Cleanup Project to Launch from Alameda Point”

Environmental cleanup meeting tonight

Presentation will feature history of radiological cleanup

The Navy will make a presentation on the status of its radiological investigation and cleanup at the next Alameda Point Restoration Advisory Board meeting, which will be held Thursday, March 22, 2018. The meeting is open to the public and begins at 6:30 p.m. in the second floor meeting room at 950 W. Mall Square on Alameda Point.

Multiple sites became contaminated with paint waste that contained radium-226, an element used in making aircraft dials glow in the dark.

Navy contractor scanning for radiation in Building 5 hangar. Navy photo.

Continue reading “Environmental cleanup meeting tonight”

Site A mixed-use construction poised to commence

City Council to consider amended development deal

On March 6, the Alameda City Council will consider a change to the stalled development deal for Site A, the mixed-use project at Alameda Point.  The proposed change would remove a restrictive condition governing the order in which construction happens.

Alameda Point Partners (APP), the developer for Site A, is requesting an amendment to its Development and Disposition Agreement.  The amendment would remove a provision that allows the city to withhold building permits for market rate units if the affordable housing subcontractor, Eden Housing, is unable to secure all of its financing.   The purpose of the current provision, called a Metering Provision, was to ensure that the affordable housing units would be built in a timely manner.  The city has approved the designs for Eden’s 70-unit family affordable complex and 60-unit senior affordable complex. Continue reading “Site A mixed-use construction poised to commence”

Great Egret fishing at Breakwater Beach

Photos of a Great Egret foraging for Yellowfin Gobies in the shallow mudflat next to Breakwater Beach at the southeast corner of Alameda Point.  After catching a Goby, the Egret would then have to fling the little fish into the air to maneuver the fish back to its mouth.  Photos are from Friday, February 9, 2018.

Continue reading “Great Egret fishing at Breakwater Beach”

Natel advances small-scale hydropower turbines

Natel, a company at Alameda Point, is developing small-scale turbines that can harness water flow to produce electricity without a dam.

Water enters white chute at bottom left and exits against the cups, forcing the conveyor to turn a generator shaft. Natel photo.

Rivers have been harnessed for the production of electricity since 1882.  That’s when the world’s first hydroelectric dam was built across the Fox River in Appleton, Wisconsin.  But dams are costly public works projects with negative environmental consequences, including the flooding of vast watersheds and blocking fish migration.

Natel has taken an invention from the dawn of hydropower called a Pelton Wheel and flattened it out.  Natel’s Linear Pelton hydroEngine is able to capture more of the water’s energy than the original wheel design, employing a dual series of cups on a conveyor system connected to a generator shaft. Continue reading “Natel advances small-scale hydropower turbines”