Hunters Point scandal

The failed cleanup at Hunter’s Point reflects a failure of the incumbent’s constituent services, as well as the possibility of conflicts of interest that compromise her ability to represent the interests of city residents.

Who is to blame?

Corporate contractors, principally TetraTech, and the property developer, Lennar. By extension, their various owners, who include most of the city’s political establishment, are also to blame.

How should the city act (investigate, remediate, reparations, punishment)?

I’d favor hearings, an investigation, and accountability—but I think it will require investigations well beyond the city, including by the state AG, and the federal DOJ and DOD.

Guilty parties should face fines and penalties, as well as potential criminal charges for falsifying test results.

Beyond accountability for discrete violations, I’d favor structural adjustments to the process for federal contracting to prevent the possibility of similar fraud emerging in the future. In particular, communities should have greater oversight authority over cleanup efforts related to Superfund sites, and corporate contractors should enjoy less deference from regulators who must have independent access to verify eg soil test results.