According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Tetra Tech, the same Pasadena-based company whose employees admitted to faking soil test results at Hunters Point Shipyard and is presently facing a host of lawsuits (including one from the federal government), will now be paid a record amount of money to clean up after the Camp Fire in Butte County.
Tetra Tech is a consulting and engineering firm “focused on water, environment, infrastructure, resource management, energy, and international development.”
As reported in Curbed SF in January of 2018, Tetra Tech presented questionable radiation testing results at the Hunters Point Shipyard to make it appear as if cleanup efforts there were more effective than they were:
When “sufficiently low levels of contamination were not obtained,” Tetra Tech would fetch samples from a “different area known to have lower radioactivity, and reported as having come from the location being investigated”;
When Tetra Tech found samples or data dirtier or more radioactive than EPA-mandated levels of safety, they were discarded;
Instead of sampling areas with known radioactivity, they would collect samples from nearby areas, and pass those off as coming from the radioactive location.
Tetra Tech’s CEO denied the allegations, saying in an email to United States Navy officials, “We are fully confident that a fact-based, scientific, and independent analysis will prove the claims against us are false.”
Two Tetra Tech employees received prison sentences last year stemming from the fraud.
This week, CalRecycle handed Tetra Tech a $250 million contract—the largest of its kind in state history—to clean up rubble and remains leftover from the Camp Fire in Butte County, which killed 86 people and destroyed nearly 200,000 buildings.
In a statement earlier this week, CalRecycle defended the decision, saying, “In previous wildfire debris removal operations, Tetra Tech has proven to be a reliable debris management contractor” and that the company met all of the state’s standards in spite of its checkered past.
A spokesperson for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who has previously derided Tetra Tech’s work in San Francisco, said that Pelosi is “concerned” at seeing the company awarded such a large state contract.
Tetra Tech stock rose from less than $51 per share this week to more than $53 after news of the contract broke.