Document Sample
Heron’s Head Park, San Francisco, California February 2004

INTRODUCTION                                                    educational and summer programs in cooperation with
This fact sheet was prepared to provide the community           local schools and community organizations.
with a summary of the findings and results of the soil
investigation conducted at Heron’s Head Park in San             SITE INVESTIGATION SCOPE & RESULTS
Francisco, California. The soil sampling was conducted          Past environmental investigations revealed that chemicals
to evaluate the nature and extent of any hazardous              were present in soil and fill used to construct the site in
substances that might be present in soil that could pose a      the early 1970s. However, these data were collected prior
risk to public health or the environment. This fact sheet       to wetland and park construction in 1998, and may not
presents a brief site description and history and               represent current conditions. A focused soil investigation
summarizes the investigation activities, results, and           targeting chemicals previously found in soil at the park
conclusions. The complete soil investigation report is          was conducted in July 2003 to assess current conditions,
available for public review from the Port of San Francisco      and to evaluate whether exposure to soil would pose an
(Port) Environmental, Health, and Safety Department.            unacceptable health risk to current and future park users
                                                                participating in educational programs or casual recreation.

                                                                Soil samples were collected from 13 locations across the
                                                                park to allow the broadest coverage over the publicly
                                                                accessible area. Soil samples were analyzed for metals,
                                                                volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and polyaromatic
                                                                hydrocarbons (PAHs). VOCs were not detected above
                                                                the laboratory detection limits. Select metals and PAHs
                                                                were detected in shallow soil. However, the range of
                                                                metal concentrations detected at the Site was similar to
                                                                concentrations found in naturally-occurring soil and the
                                                                concentrations of PAHs were generally low.

Heron’s Head Park is approximately 22 acres, located on         HUMAN HEALTH RISK ASSESSMENT
the north side of India Basin. It is owned by the Port and      Using guidelines established by the U.S. Environmental
was created through the placement of fill material in the       Protection Agency (EPA) and California EPA, a human
early 1970s for the construction of a marine shipping           health risk assessment was conducted to evaluate if the
terminal. Fill is present to approximately 15 feet below        concentrations of chemicals found in pose a potential
ground surface and consists of varying mixtures of gravel,      health risk to park visitors. The types of park users
sand, silt, clay, and debris material, such as wood, plastic,   evaluated included adolescent students, ages of 7 through
concrete, brick, and garbage. In 1977, the placement of         17, school teachers, and occasional adult recreational
fill was stopped. Subsequently, salt marsh developed            users, (e.g., fishermen, bird-watchers and joggers).
naturally along three acres of the southern shoreline. In       Potential exposure pathways considered included
1998, the Port created new salt marsh, and constructed          incidental ingestion of soil, dermal contact with soil, and
Heron’s Head Park. The work included covering the               inhalation of chemicals adhered to dust particulates in air.
western portion of the park with a geosynthetic clay liner      Based on reasonable estimates for exposure frequency
and 1.5 to 3 feet of soil to minimize infiltration of           and duration recommended by Cal-EPA, chemical
rainwater through the underlying fill. In addition, the         concentrations measured in soil are below the U.S. EPA
Port, with assistance from Literacy for Environmental           and Cal-EPA threshold levels of concern, and below the
Justice (LEJ) and other local community groups and              levels that could be expected to cause health problems.
organizations, i) enhanced and increased the total acreage      Thus, potential exposures to chemicals found in soil do
of the tidal salt marsh by another five acres; ii) cleared,     not pose excess risk to human health.
graded, and revegetated the northwestern and upland
portion of the Site; and iii) improved public access by         FOR MORE INFORMATION
constructing trails, viewing, and resting areas. The site       If you have questions regarding the soil sampling
was renamed Heron’s Head Park, and is now home to               investigation and health risk assessment results, please
acres of tidal salt marsh housing shorebirds and other          contact: Ms. Carol Bach, Port of San Francisco,
wildlife. The park is used year-round for open space and        415.274.0586 or