Feds Propose Fine Against Hunters Point Contractor

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission proposed a $7,000 penalty against Navy contractor Tetra Tech after it found the company deliberately falsified soil samples.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Friday proposed a fine against a government contractor after it found the company deliberately falsified soil samples at a superfund site in San Francisco that’s slated for homes, shops and parks.

The NRC is proposing a $7,000 penalty against Tetra Tech, the company in charge of cleaning up radiation at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard.

The Investigative Unit first exposed in 2014 that the Navy caught Tetra Tech mishandling soil samples and falsifying radiation data when cleaning up parcels of land and various buildings on Hunters Point. The NRC launched an investigation, which determined two Tetra Tech workers deliberately falsified soil samples in 2011 and 2012.

When reached by email, Tetra Tech spokeswoman Charlie MacPherson said the company took corrective actions to resample the suspect areas.

The commission said it did not find any information to suggest that suspect buildings or land had been inappropriately cleared for unrestricted use, which includes future development.

The NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit first exposed in 2014 that former Tetra Tech workers questioned the cleanup of radiation at Hunters Point. The Investigative Unit uncovered an internal Tetra Tech report that details how the company believed employees mishandled soil samples and falsified radiation data.

In March, a Tetra Tech worker told the Investigative Unit that his bosses ordered him to conceal radiation on the site. He said supervisors told him to replace potentially contaminated soil samples with clean ones, dump potentially contaminated soil into trenches on Hunters Point and sign falsified documents that were later submitted to the government.

Tetra Tech has 30 days to pay the NRC’s proposed penalty or request in writing that the fine be withdrawn.

If you have a tip for the Investigative Unit email theunit@nbcbayarea.com.

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