The Alamedan: On Point: Two hours on a bus, June 25, 2012


On Saturday, nearly four dozen people boarded a bus – environmentalists, engineers, and the occasional journalist – for a two-hour tour highlighting the Navy’s latest efforts to pull poisons out of the ground and water at and around Alameda Point.

The Navy is required by federal law to perform public outreach on its cleanup efforts, and the annual tour is one way the team in charge of making sure the Point is safe for human habitation, workers and recreation chose to fulfill that duty, according to Derek Robinson, the trim, affable head of the team managing cleanup efforts there.

The Point looms large in the minds of residents and local politicians whose most fervent hope is to see this third of the Island transformed from an expanse of cracked pavement and rotting hangars into a vibrant new segment of the community with homes, shops, office buildings and parks. But for the Navy, which shuttered bases all over the country in the 1990s including this one, the Point is one of their biggest cleanup jobs, with a cost that has so far exceeded a half billion dollars.