June 13 at 11:45 AM
Siegel is executive director of the Center for Public Environmental
organization that promotes and facilitates public participation in the
environmental activities at federal facilities, private "Superfund"
Brownfields. Lenny is also founder of the Alliance for
a New Moffett Field and
spokesperson for the Save Hangar One Committee.
will review the engineering evaluation/cost analysis (EE/CA) for Hangar
>recently released by
the U.S. Navy, and discuss the efforts of local historic
to lobby for a non-demolition alternative. The EE/CA summarizes
>the evaluation of 13
alternatives for dealing with the contamination, and describes
>the Navy’s recommended
alternative (complete demolition and offsite disposal).
Lenny began his talk by
pointing out that Hanger One is one of the largest free standing
building in the United States. It is 1133 feet long, 200 feet high, and
is by far the most recognizable building in Santa Clara County. Most
long term residents of the Peninsula have many fond memories of seeing
it on their way past Moffett Field. Some even remember seeing the USS
Macon, a giant helium airship so big it could work as an aircraft
carrier, land there.
Lenny explained that as
part of the remedial investigation of the wetlands at the end of
the runway, a NASA environmental official had found some
rare PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) in the land and had traced them
back to Hangar One. Further research had brought to light that the
walls of Hangar One are made of Galbestos, a sandwich of galvanized
steel, PCBs, and Asbestos. The Navy now wants to
tear the building down. They think they can do it
for about $12 million.
Save Hanger One was
organized last summer to prevent this from happening. Lenny waved a
NASA study that he says shows the costs not included in the Navy
analysis bring the actual costs of removing the building to $30
million, about what it would cost to remove the Galbestos siding and
replace it with something that looks similar enough but isn't toxic.
There have been public meetings about the future of Moffett Field where
Save Hangar One turned out hundreds of people who expressed support for
Hangar One to the Navy.
The leading proposal on
what to do with the building if it is saved is to put a museum there.
(The most recent TASC speaker spoke on that, please see http://www.mv-voice.com/story.php?story_id=1607 for
more information.) Space World has succeeded in putting together a blue
ribbon board, including names like Astronaut Sally Ride and Hollywood's
James Cameron, but they are all too busy with other projects to do much
work on the fundraising.
Lenny is looking for all
kinds of help on the project of Saving Hanger One. If you know people
with power and influence, he would be grateful if you would enlist
their help in saving Hangar One. If you have time to write a letter or
email to the Navy in support of Hanger One, the address is:
Navy BRAC PMO West
1455 Frazee Road Ste 900
San Diego, CA 92108-4310
During Q&A the
following came up:
The general attitude in
the Save Hangar One community is "let's save the building before we get
into an argument about what to do with it next."
If Hangar One is torn
down, the air safety rules limit the size of any replacement
building to 70 feet tall. The site is probably not suitable for housing
because it is right next to a working airport.
There is also a lot of TCE contamination in the
area that might make direct reuse a bit of a problem.
For more information