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What's News - June 8, 2022 - 2550 Irving: Gordon Mar report card / Update on Toxic Contamination

Updated: Sep 14, 2022

Dear Neighbor,

Much has happened in the community this past month. I am writing to let you know about the extent of Supervisor Mar’s involvement in trying to resolve the problem of toxicity at and around 2550 Irving St. I also want to apprise you of our financial situation and an anonymous donor willing to match your donations in the next 90 days. Firstly, Supervisor Mar: As he promised at our April 27th Community Meeting, our supervisor did talk to the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation (TNDC) and requested that they help clean up the toxicity that is currently under their building and which continues to move northward into the adjacent houses on 26th and 27th Avenues. One of the two techniques to clean the soil and sand from PCE is called Soil Vapor Extraction. This would remove much of the contamination by vacuuming the PCE under 2550 Irving. TNDC has declined to consider this and it is their legal right decline this action, under the agreement they signed with the Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC). According to TNDC’s advisor, Soil Vapor Extraction runs the risk of pulling more PCE from the south side of the street, around the former Albrite Cleaners, to the 2550 Irving Street building. And so, we are at an impasse. If nothing changes, TNDC will demolish the former Police Credit Union building and leave the contamination where it is. Once they build their new building, they will be saying to their low-income tenants: We will give you very low rent, but you have to live with a greater cancer and Parkinson’s disease risk. And they will be saying to the neighborhood, whatever PCE is coming from our site, into your home, is legally not our concern. Supervisor Mar has not pushed TNDC any further. Supervisor Mar also attended a meeting with Department of Toxicology and Substance Control, (DTSC) Department of Public Health, and with representatives of MSNA, including our geologic expert, Don Moore, and Lenny Siegel, Director of Center for Public Environmental Oversight. At this meeting Supervisor Mar did request that the entire area be considered one contaminated site, that should be be remediated. Before leaving the meeting, Supervisor Mar stated that TNDC’s position to avoid remediation highlights the need for a “comprehensive solution” to clean the area up. Whitney Smith, the DTSC representative, countered that it is premature to consider remediation because “there may be a dozen businesses that contributed” to the contamination.

If Whitney Smith really believes that, he should immediately direct DTSC to take soil samples at the most obvious sources on the north side of Irving Street, TNDC’s new property, the former Miracle Dry Cleaners, at 2550 Irving Street. But DTSC has not done this and has no intention to do so. That would mean getting TNDC to sign onto this plan. This is where we believe Supervisor Mar needs to step in, stand up for the Sunset, and assert himself to force some action. He has the means to do so. Will he? Please let him know your thoughts on this. We need Action Now for our Health and Safety. Rest assured, the neighborhood association is following up with DTSC. We are also seeking a live meeting in June, when DTSC has said it will have a community meeting with concerned neighbors. AS for TNDC, they have indicated they will not be compromising with the neighborhood, and that is exactly why we have taken them to court. The case is pending.

Secondly, Finances: As you know, we need funds to continue meeting our financial obligation to the law firm who has been helping us wade through city politics, Planning codes, and our legal rights.

Thank you to those of you who did send us a contribution. We implore you, all of you, to send us donations monthly, especially the next three months. An anonymous donor has agreed to match any of your contributions, up to $10,000.00, in the next three months. Anything you send us will be doubled in its impact. Please, please send us a contribution today. The Zelle account is: Mid-Sunset Neighborhood Association, 415 425-2939 A check to MSNA can be dropped off at 1221 27th Ave., S.F. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and being part of our wonderful community. Sincerely, Flo Kimmerling, President Mid-Sunset Neighborhood Association

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