continued In order to help evaluate and advise the City during this investigation, Councilmember Frye convened the Mission Bay Technical Advisory Committee. This oversight committee is made up of technical experts and community members interested in completing a site assessment and determining appropriate clean-up measures for the landfill. In December 2003, newly elected councilmember Michael Zucchet joined Councilmember Frye in chairing the committee, which is currently working with the city to recommend a consultant to complete the site investigation.
Said Frye, "We have a technical advisory committee to look at the toxic-waste dump on South Shores, which was used in the '50s. Now there's a parking lot and a boat ramp there, but underneath it is this capped toxic-waste dump. But it hasn't ever been adequately studied, what's under there and whether or not it's safe. We have to determine what the limits are of that old landfill, and how far it extends, and whether or not there are any human health impacts, and if anything's leaking.
"It really may be the worst area of the whole bay, South Shores; we don't know. It's really difficult to go back. We've been trying to study this, but there are no records, and there were hardly any laws back then. People were allowed to burn their trash, they could dig a trench and dump a barrel in it. It's been claimed that all this industrial, military-type waste was dumped there in the '50s by Convair and General Dynamics and by the Navy itself."
Frye went on, "It takes a long time. I mean, I'm condensing this. The first thing you have to do is you have to make people understand that there's a problem. So that took many years to get people to admit that there was a pollution problem, even though the bay was listed as an impaired water body by the state and city and federal governments. And then once you get people to admit there's a problem and you start figuring out what the solutions might be, then you can go out and start trying to put together things that might start to eliminate that pollution. And we have a lot of grant money to do that. Right now the grant money's being used for epidemiological studies and a 'fate and transfer' study, which shows us where the pollutants may be going and moving once they're in the bay.
"We're doing our best," Frye continued, "but I haven't fulfilled my campaign promises yet, not even close. I haven't fulfilled my goal of cleaning up the bay. But I'll keep doing it. I'll keep trying. And when the bay's no longer listed as an impaired water body, then I'll have succeeded."