Exxon "Cleanup" Creates New Health Problems

By Matt Baume
|  Friday, Jan 14, 2011  |  Updated 1:15 PM PDT
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Exxon "Cleanup" Creates New Health Problems

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One of San Francisco's oldest fish companies is closing its doors due to toxins stirred up by an Exxon-Mobil "cleanup."

For 70 years, the Alioto-Lazio Fish Company has operated on Fisherman's Wharf, but the historic operation has proven to be no match for a polluting oil corporation.

The fish company is next door to a decades-old underwater oil leak. The Port of San Francisco discovered fresh contamination in 2008, but it took a lawsuit to force Exxon-Mobil, which produces gasoline for cars, to start repairs. Two years later, work is finally getting underway.

But that work involves jackhammering and underwater excavation, according to the Examiner. That's caused a variety of health risks next door, and Alioto company leaders say that their employees are getting sick. In addition, they've filed suit over the negative impact that the construction will have on the seafood that they produce.

Although Exxon-Mobil's work was approved by state agencies, it wasn't reviewed by anyone with expertise in the food industry.

Alioto-Lazio plans to re-open once construction is complete, but it's unclear when that will be. In addition, contaminants may linger long after this phase of work is complete.

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