Friday, July 16, 2010

DDT Contamination Lingers At CA's Inner Richmond Harbor

July 14, 2010 - Talk to those who frequently fish in San Francisco Bay and you'll find many who keep and cook their catch. But -- as area fisherman Anthony Florez noted -- it's best to limit the amount you consume.

"You can eat them. But you can't eat too much of it, you know?" said Florez.

Warning signs posted by the state make the danger clear. Mercury and other toxins have been found in the fish. And there is a spot in the bay where no fish are fit to eat. It is a large part of the Inner Richmond Harbor. The main contaminant is DDT, the once widely used pesticide.

"We want the communities to be aware of existing do not eat advisories in the Richmond harbor area and follow these advisories very closely," said Sharon Lim, Environmental Protection Agency project manager for the United Heckathorn Superfund Site.

United Heckathorn was a major pesticide manufacturing plant. Decades ago, it sandwiched between 4th Street in Richmond and the Lauritzen canal.

The plant is long gone, having been demolished after the company went bankrupt in the 1960's. But the company left a legacy of toxins that continue to threaten people and the environment.


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