Blog – Case Study: Mission Bay
Once called the “Dumpsville”, Mission Bay in San Francisco was home to shipyards, canneries, a sugar refinery and warehouses from the mid 19th century well into the 20th century. With the 1906 earthquake and fire, Mission Bay was used as a landfill for trash, sewage and rubble.
Upon build-out, Mission Bay will be a mixed-use site including multi-family — housing (including both market rate and affordable, rental and for-sale units), public open space, retail and commercial uses, a hotel, a school, a police and fire station, office, biotecb, and research and development facilities. Already completed is the 43-acre expansion campus for UCSF. Features include at grade parking, an amphitheater, landscape areas, and numerous walkways.
Regulatory oversight and enforcement mechanisms by the Water Board and Cal-EPA provide the structure for risk management measures applicable to the development that will remain in place and continue to be effective.
- Covering of areas with residual landfill material or contaminated soil or groundwater with a clean layer of soil;
- Limiting future residential development within certain areas to preclude single family homes with private front yards or back yards;
- Restricting the future use of groundwater for domestic, industrial or irrigation purposes through recordation of an Environmental Covenant;
- Providing protocols for future subsurface activities; and
- Implementing a long-term monitoring program.
Examples of additional controls include requiring gardens to be planted in raised boxes (example of an institutional control) and a requirement for a durable cover (buildings or roads) or clean topsoil across the site (example of an engineering control). Additionally, as a result of organic material decomposing in the Bay fill and underlying organic-rich native peat and bay mud around Mission Bay, methane is sometimes detected in soil gas. If methane is determined to be present above action levels, methane gas mitigation systems must be designed and installed as part of new building construction to prevent the possibility of explosion.
These risk management measures are designed to maintain the protection of human health over the life of the development.
To learn more about this and other case studies, click here to review the RFI packet provided to Planning Commission earlier this year.