SAN FRANCISCO'S PORT AUTHORITY
Many San Franciscans love walking or running along the Embacadero by all the Piers - starting from the Ferry Building down to Pier 39 and beyond to the Marina. Many presuppose the buildings and the Piers belong to the City and County of San Francisco. www.sfport.com
As a matter of fact all San Francisco Port Authority (SFPA) property belongs to all the people of California - we all Californians are real stakeholders. There is the Burton Act which guides the SFPA to hold the property in Trust and permit the use of it in a manner that benefits all the stakeholders - give us all access to what belongs to all of us.
The SFPA is mandated to manage the property and be self-sufficient. The Mayor and the Board of Supervisors have a say - but choose to look the other way. Again and again the SFPA has been a grand failure - right now no one knows when the Ferry Building will be completed. It was suppose to be complete shortly but it looks it will take years.
The SFPA some how has not fathomed the reality of the power of the people. Time and time again the SFPA goes on the defensive and tries to talk down to the constituents of San Francisco who have a real say. Time and time again the SFPA has challenged tenants, stakeholders and lost in court. This is lost revenue that could be saved. This is a shame.
My main concern is the environment and the concern the SFPA has regarding - toxins and pollution. If they could be graded - the most acceptable grade would be an F.
If you go to Pier 92 by Cargo Street and Amador you will see a huge pile of dirt. This dirt is very toxic and has been there for over 7 years. Technically, this dirt if it was put there by any consensus as a temporary hold place should have been removed within 10 days. There are laws and regulation that mandate the removal of such toxins placed where thousands are put in harm way.
The San Francisco Port Authority was informed to remove the dirt but did nothing about it. At various meetings instead of doing the right thing - the SFPA goes on the defensive. Recently, I wrote a higher authority in Sacramento and they ordered the SFPA to remove the dirt.
This removal will cost the SFPA over a million dollars. Had they done the right thing a long time ago - it would not have cost them so much.
Some of you know about the Muwekma Ohlone Park and Sanctuary. Before the SFPA allowed us to name it the Muwekma Park and Sanctuary - this particular site housed "drug addicts". David Erickson the "keeper" of the Muwekma Park and Sanctuary cleaned the site - he found hundreds of needles and other drug paraphernalia. www.islaiscreek.com
We all worked hard to create some open space where thousands of children and adults could visit. An open space where the unique habitat could be preserved and the Park well maintained. The California Academy of Sciences through a grant undertook a survey and found so many creatures and plants. Some one of a kind others nearing the endangered list.
Then two days before the last Thanksgiving in November, 2001 a sewer pipe, which ran right in the middle of the Muwekma Park and Sanctuary, created havoc. Millions of gallons of secondary effluents and some Raw Sewage from the nearby Bayview Raw Sewage Plant flooded the Muwekma Ohlone Park and Sanctuary.
I could NOT believe it when no one took responsibility. The Public Relations point person at MUNI denied that MUNI has anything to do with the Muwekma Ohlone Park and Sanctuary. San Francisco Public Utilities Commission - denied they had anything to do with it. The Department of Public Works - took one look and denied having anything to do with the project that hit the main sewer pipe. The sewer pipe - carries over 80 million gallons of secondary effluents into the Bay - the pipe runs by Pier 80 and some say underground - right in the middle of Pier 80.
The SFPA was informed about the disaster by me - but it took the SFPA days before they acknowledged about the incident. In fact they did not know too much about the project - which consisted 3 conduits being drilled in the opposite direction. The sewer pipe runs from North to South. The conduits from West to East.
As one can imagine we were all shocked. Thousands of dollars worth of work - ruined by the Conduit Project that none of the agencies knew well about. I asked for a Soil Assessment Study and have yet to receive it - linked to the conduits and the site area.
We tried to convince the SFPA and MUNI that we need to be made whole - we asked for some concrete mitigation. The SFPS was aware of the damage - aware of the pain it caused us - aware of the nasty pollutants - secondary effluents and possible raw sewage. I could not believe the attitude of the SFPA and MUNI.
We had to take legal action and mitigate a sum closer to $500,000. It is only when we initiated the legal action that the San Francisco Port Authority and MUNI - began talking to us in earnest. I could not believe the nonchalant attitude exhibited mostly by the SFPA.
The SFPA is fully aware that it has lots of property that it has run down. Many of the Piers in the Southeast Sector need repair. Hundreds of sheds that could be converted to warehouse and put to good use - sit idle. Many of these building contain asbestos and other pollutants from toxic oils and other toxins.
The SFPA encourages junkyards and crooks who tow away ticketed cars that steal precious goods from the cars belonging to innocent citizens. This is a shame and is another form of Environmental Injustice.
The San Francisco Port Authority could have taken the lead to generate Solar Energy. Taken a lead to generate Wind Power, which had it's hey day decades ago in the Southeast Sector. But, the SFPA always sides with GREEDY DEVELOPERS - like the guys who built PacBell and put many innocent small businesses out of business.
Again and again as with some small POP and MOM outfit - like the famous fishing outfit by Pier 1 - the SFPA sees nothing messing with those who do not have the means to fight Goliath. Well-known Angela Alioto took the Port Authority to Court and won big time.
These huge ships - we call Cruise Ship are famous for polluting. These Cruise Ships have been fined for polluting - elsewhere. In San Francisco the San Francisco Port Authority - welcomes the Cruise Ships who are major pollutants.
In short the San Francisco Port Authority has a very poor rap sheet when it come to Environmental Justice. A longer rap sheet when it comes to Environmental Injustice.
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