San Diegans for Safe Drinking Water IS PROUD TO ANNOUNCE—FLUORIDEGATE AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY
A new documentary film by Dr. David C. Kennedy
Watch the film now and visit www.fluoridegate.com for more information.
San Diego Government and Navy has denied or ignored breaks and problems with the jet fuel line for over 20 years... even putting the NTC Charter School and Rock Church playgrounds on/next to the line. Now we are hearing a different story.— Navy Plans To Move Aging Miramar Pipeline
Navy Hoping To Get $26M From Federal Government To Move Section Of Pipeline
SAN DIEGO, Feb. 2012-- The U.S. Navy is rushing to get an aging fuel pipeline off Point Loma's shoreline and is hoping to get $26 million from the federal government by spring to move it.
The rush comes after the 10News I-Team unveiled unseen inspection reports for the 57-year-old Miramar Pipeline, which runs between MCAS Miramar and the naval base in Point Loma.
The I-Team discovered the Navy fuel line had been repeatedly unearthed and exposed to the elements as it hugs the bayfront area near La Playa.
San Diego "Wireless Communications Facilities Policy" Stakeholders Review Committee
"Your coverage made people aware that it was eroding in several locations," said San Diego city Councilman Kevin Faulconer.
Faulconer represents Point Loma and is one of several elected leaders working with the Navy to move the pipeline away from San Diego bay and the Point Loma population.
State Senator Christine Kehoe – who also represents Point Loma – also wanted to know the about the pipe's condition.
The state regional water quality control board wrote to Kehoe, saying, "The Navy has identified 'hazardous consequence areas' along the pipeline alignment…"
In July, Capt. David Pimpo – who was then in charge of the Miramar Pipeline – told 10News the 17-mile pipeline is safe despite the internal inspections describing 55 cases of corrosion and 575 incidences of metal loss.
"A pipeline is inherently going to be a risk," said Pimpo. "Whenever you have fuel that goes through a pipe… that goes through a residential area, you're going to be in a situation where you're going to have risk."
The Navy is now focusing on the section of piping that continues to be uncovered by erosion and looking for $26 million from the federal government to pay to move it.
"I'm hoping that they secure that funding within the next several months and we can begin planning to get that pipeline off the water and into a more secure place," said Faulconer.
Faulconer, along with naval leadership, will hold a series of community meetings to let the public know how the pipeline will be moved and where it will go.
There are no firm plans on when or where those meetings will take place.
5/7/2010— The Peninsula's 80,000 residents and businesses have No Representation on this important Committee, as its Planning board Chair, C.Mellor, has Neglected to Attend a Single meeting, and has now 'resigned' the committee downtown at the City! Our local Planning Board's "membership" includes a "Cell Company Applicant" for such Antennas/Towers. Where is Your Input on this to both improve our service as well as protect your property values?
I have personally been attending these meetings since the 2nd one in January and have submitted my name & attached resume to 'Replace" Mellor to representing Peninsula* residents and businesses, to Councilman Faulconer, several weeks ago, with no response. (You can call him at 236-6622) As a resident/business here, we are subjected already to the "strongest military transmissions in the Western U.S. for Air and Sea operations," (by a cancer institute affiliate), as well as "high-powered underground lines for the military" running throughout the Peninsula. In addition, the Peninsula planning area is also subject to constant interference from Lindbergh Field's airport transmissions. All of these transmissions "interfere," repeatedly with Cell, WiFi, Computer & Blackberry-type Phone 'connections.'
Are there homes that have not sold, perhaps because of proximity to cell antennas/tower sites, seeing public perception of Safety (& growing numbers of 'health studies' and actions, worldwide-including brain cancer as the #1 pediatric killer)? One of the attached policies considers this issue in its draft form. I have personally received multiple calls from Buyers to request information on "'Where to Buy, far enough away from cell sites to protect their families." This is a serious issue and these 'Policies', to span at the minimum, another 10 years, possibly with "No Notice" to those property owners within 300 feet. Many such sites are being now 'installed' already, with No Notice to adjacent property owners within even 15 feet! This issue will affect you, please contact me with your input.
— Cynthia Conger,Prior 5 of 6 yr. Chair , Peninsula Planning Board
in ENVIRONMENT... WHERE
SAN DIEGO is FAILING
San Diego is now allowing cell towers in neighborhoods, in churches and in near schools. World wide studies are showing an increasing danger from cell phones:
Dangerous toxins being released into the bay and soon off Point Loma instead of being cleaned up.
A proposed settlement September 15, 2008 allows a minor fine, with NO REAL CLEAN-UP of Hazardous chemicals being dumped into our local waters.
Links regarding the California Regional Water Quality Control Board San Diego Region (proposed) settlement
Read, the below watchdog letter that opposed the unacceptable settlement.
California Regional Water Quality Control Board
San Diego Region
9174 Shy Park Court, Suite 100
San Diego, California 92123-4353
Attention: John Robertus
CRWQCB Executive Officer Re: CAU: 14-0329 Place ID: 255226Dear Mr. Robertus:
I am writing this letter in opposition to the California Regional Water Quality Control Board San Diego Region (CRWQCB) Conditional Early Settlement with Offer No. R9-2008-0076 with the City of San Diego, based on the CRWQCB letter dated July 16, 2008 and the (proposed) Order signed from the City of San Diego on August 13, 2008.
Clearly, the City of San Diego is not contesting the numerous serious violations of illegally pumping hazardous chemicals into the San Diego Bay. However, the CRWQCB’s imposition of minimal fines on serious violations is not a practical solution to hold polluters accountable, nor will it rectify the hazardous contamination problem in the San Diego Bay.
The San Diego Bay is obviously an unsustainable ecosystem, since the bay water migrating into the San Diego Convention Center parking lot exceeds legal limits for cyanide and other hazardous chemicals. What is more disturbing is the fact the City of San Diego has recognized the crisis for several years, but still illegally contributes to the problem by pumping the highly hazardous groundwater back into the San Diego Bay. Presently, I understand the City of San Diego is allowed to dump this same untreated hazardous groundwater down the sewage system. Obviously, moving pollution from the San Diego Bay to the Point Loma ocean outfall is not the solution, because these highly toxic chemical pollutants will continue to impact human health and the marine life. Beyond doubt, imposing minimal fine for serious violators is not sustainable, and allows more derogation of our bay. We are now living in a soup of hazardous chemicals, finding their way back onto our dinner tables. In view of that, remediation cleanup is the only solution to solve the San Diego Bay’s present unsustainable ecosystem. Therefore, please hold the City of San Diego accountable by imposing the maximum liability fines in order to recover the economical and ecological losses of the San Diego Bay pursuant to CWC Section 13385(a, c, e).
France : Dangers of Cell Phones CALL OF 20 SCIENTISTS
JUNE 15, 2008 In the French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche (Le JDD), 20 international scientists, most of them cancer specialists, launch a call against the dangers of cell phones.
Hazardous air sparks mass warnings in California
Equivalent Amount of Greenhouse Gas Emissions as 440,000 Cars
Oct 27, 2007— Health officials on Saturday warned of extremely hazardous air quality in the wake of this week's wildfires that devoured swaths of Southern California territory and spewed massive amounts of smoke into the atmosphere.
Alarms were also raised about the longer-term effects of the pollution and the greenhouse gases produced by the fires, which ravaged 203,000 hectares (502,000 acres) of tinder-dry park and forest land, and destroyed as many as 1,800 homes.
In one week, the blazes poured the equivalent amount of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere as 440,000 cars do over the course of one year, according to Patricia Rey, spokeswoman for the air resources board, part of the state Environmental Protection Agency.
"It is very concerning right now," Rey said. "We are really putting a lot of priority on trying to put out the right advisories for the people," she said.
The air resources board urged residents in five counties to stay indoors due to elevated pollution levels that are three times higher than the federal norms, raising particular danger for the elderly, children and those with asthma or breathing ailments.
"For sensitive groups, we are trying to keep them inside, telling them to try to avoid prolonged exercise activities. If you can do it inside it will be better. Run the air conditioner rather than keep open windows," she said.
"There are pockets of areas that are worse than others, but overall the advisories say they should really be concerned about outdoor activities."
Frye on the Powerlink
City Councilwoman Donna Frye sent a letter recently to the California Public Utilities Commission reminding the state agency that Mayor Jerry Sanders does not speak for the council on the Sunrise Powerlink.
Sanders and county Supervisor Ron Roberts recently sent their own letter to the commission urging it to push forward with the Powerlink, a 150-mile long power line proposed by San Diego Gas & Electric.
I would like to inform you that the City Council of the City of San Diego has not taken a position on this project. Therefore, I felt it was important that I contact you to express that the Mayor's support for this project does not reflect the views of the legislative body of the City of San Diego.
-- ROB DAVIS , Voice of san Diego, Sept. 26, 2007
In Water Conservation, City Officials Ignore Their Own Advice
The flora that blocks off a street-side view of Council President Scott Peters' La Jolla estate contributes to his monthly water consumption, which is about 8 times higher than the average San Diegan's.
By ROB DAVIS Voice Staff Writer, Voice of San Diego, 9/11/07
The ever growing plume:
"The pathway has been completed,"
i.e., the jet fuel has reached San Diego Bay
San Diego Bay.La Playa Heritage
(More background Info.) http://www.laplayaheritage.com/health.htm
1. Public Forum Regarding the Fuel Spill at Naval Base Point Loma.Contact Information for access to the unpublished draft Fleet Industrial Supply Center (FISC) Environmental Assessment report which says according to John Adriany "the pathway has been completed," i.e., the jet fuel has reached San Diego Bay.
Laurie A. Walsh, Water Resource Control Engineer, Site Mitigation and Cleanup Unit. 858-467-2970, LWalsh@waterboards.ca.gov.
California Regional Water Quality Control Board, San Diego Region, 9174 Sky Park Court, Suite 100, San Diego, CA 92123-4340. http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/sandiego.
Navy discovers hidden finger
by Sebastian Ruiz, Peninsula Beacon, July 26, 2007
Navy officials are reporting the discovery of a previously undetected fuel plume “finger” extending to the southeast of the estimated 1.5 million-gallon plume floating on the water beneath the Defense Fuel Support Point (DFSP) at Naval Base Point Loma. The finger sits about 40 feet beneath the surface of the DFSP, which is located on the base at the end of Rosecrans Street. Capt. Mark Patton, commanding officer of Naval Base Point Loma, shared the findings with the Community Liaison Group on July 18 as he updated group members on the status of the recovery efforts. “We have reason to believe this was merely a finger of the plume that we have never detected before,” he said. Patton said the fuel discovered by a newly installed monitoring well in May is “old fuel” and does not indicate the presence of a new leak. He added that the plume remains essentially the same shape with the exception of the newly discovered area.
No new leakages have been detected since May and there is no indication the plume has reached San Diego Bay, he said. A fuel plume finger extends underneath only one residence immediately to the north of the base and poses no significant health risk to the residents, he said.
The update comes about a month ahead of construction of the replacement recovery system slated to be built between mid-August and early November, with a new tank system slated for next year. The system will replace about 70 monitoring and recovery wells, which have recovered about 147,000 gallons of product to date, Patton said.
The $5 million recovery system consists of a two-foot-wide trench extending down past the water table. As the water and fuel flow into the trench, pumps will extract the mixture for cleaning. Once installed, the system should be operational for about 20 years. Although the majority of the fuel should be extracted within five to 10 years, the system will remain in place to clean any remnants of the plume, as well as to act as a “barrier” in case of a future leak, Patton said.
He added that the Navy, in cooperation with a private contracting group Shaw Inc. and the California Regional Water Quality Control Board will continue to monitor the fuel plume by installing the 10-inch-diameter recovery and monitoring wells throughout the cleanup efforts. “The more wells “¦ the better we can define the plume boundarie" Patton said.
“We are continuously committed to finding where it starts and stops.” The recovery wells will stay in place for as long as it takes to recover all the fuel, he said. As the Navy and private contractors continue the recovery, plans to replace the existing fuel storage tanks “” with a $140 million state-of-the-art storage tank system “ ” are already under way.
The Milcon P 401 Tank Replacement Project will have several advantages over the current tank system, which was built in the 1930s, Patton said. The new system consists of eight state-of-the-art tanks to replace about 40 above- and below-ground tanks currently spread across 200 acres, Patton said. The new tanks will cover about 35 acres. Although the plan originally incorporated construction of 10 tanks, the number was reduced to eight larger tanks because of the rising cost of concrete and steel, Patton said. The new tanks will be 149 feet in diameter and painted white to minimize heating from the sun, he said. Patton said he could not give specific details on the design of the project because the project has not yet gone through the bid process.
Construction of the P-401 system is scheduled to start in the summer of 2008 with heavy construction expected to last two or three years, he said.
However, news of heavy construction and more trucks in and out of the base drew groans from the Community Liaison Group. Patton said trucks currently traveling to and from the base would be diverted to Catalina Boulevard in an effort to mitigate traffic congestion. The trucks will also queue at another part of the base near Harbor Drive to avoid congestion around the entrance of the base. Resident and former Peninsula Community Planning Board member Edwina Goddard said the increased traffic would upset residents on Rosecrans Street. She said the vibrations from large trucks shake her home and those of her neighbors, which lie to the east of Rosecrans Street.
They still jiggle. They’ve jiggled since 19" Goddard said.
While residents like Goddard are concerned about traffic and construction impediments to their quality of life, other residents are keeping an eye on possible health and environmental concerns resulting from the fuel spill.
John Adriany, a long-time Point Loma resident and environmental chemist said that although the plume hasn’t reached the bay, he is concerned about the fumes from the plume posing a possible health risk. Adriany said the fuel mixture under the base doesn’t evaporate as fast as regular gasoline. Although he said the fuel is not as volatile as regular gasoline, breathing its fumes may be dangerous. He added, however, that the draft site assessment report has yet to be approved and released. We don’t have the information to make a good assessment, [but the Navy claims] its not a risk,” he said.
The plume consists of two types of fuel: marine diesel fuel and Jet Propulsion 5, Patton said.
He said the fuels are used because of their relative stability. The Defense Fuel Supply Point is a main supplier of fuel for the Navy so stability and safety is important, he said.
According to a community environmental newsletter distributed to members of the Community Liaison Group at a previous meeting, a human health-risk assessment calculates risk to residents and site workers. According to the newsletter, the excess lifetime cancer risk for residents near the site is two-in-100 million. This is below a recognized cancer risk range of between one-in-one million and one-in-10,000, according to the newsletter. Draft forms of the site assessment report and the corrective action plan are available for viewing through the California Regional Water Quality Control Board. The board is the lead regulatory agency for the remediation project. It provides the Navy with guidelines and federal water quality standards. As the Navy and contractors continue the cleanup, the water quality control board analyzes the data to see if the plan needs revision, according to Laurie Walsh, water resource control engineer for the project.
The DFSP is the Navy’s primary fuel storage and dispensing facility on the West Coast, according to the Community Environmental Newsletter. For more information, contact the Naval Base Point Loma Environmental Office at (619) 553-7177.
Aguirre calls for more environmental provisions in general plan
By ELIZABETH MALLOY, The Daily Transcript, July 6, 2007
After a letter from the state attorney general‚s office urged San Diego to evaluate environmental factors in the city‚s general plan, San Diego City Attorney Michael Aguirre and City Councilwoman Donna Frye are urging officials to review the plan.
"San Diego can decide if it wants to be at the back of the pack as we have been in the past, or if we want to help lead and take advantage -- maximum advantage -- of the opportunities that global warming brings," Aguirre said at a press conference Friday.
Those opportunities, according to Aguirre, are using global warming as a means to put cost and space-saving measures into place, such as implementing mandatory recycling, consuming less water and building more infrastructure.
"There‚s an economic opportunity here," Aguirre said.
Aguirre said that San Diego's fast growth over the past 20 to 30 years has put a strain on the area‚s resources, and that taking a step back and making some environmentally friendly changes -- such as using more recycled water -- would help the problem.
"Here in San Diego, what makes it even more difficult is that we are long on development and short on infrastructure," Aguirre said. "Wastewater, water, storm drain. All three of those areas, we are behind on."
"He said that historically, developers have been against environmentally friendly changes, and he wants to change that by involving their resources in the process. He has suggested the city work with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography -- as a mayoral proposal has suggested -- and try to find scientific solutions, as well as bring developers to the table."
"If we can unite the developers of San Diego with their tremendous know-how and financial capability, with the scientific capability at (the University of California, San Diego), and together attack the problem of global warming and the infrastructure deficit that exists in San Diego because of the over development, if we can do all of that, we can make a tremendous difference," Aguirre said.
A call was placed to the Building Industry Association of San Diego to gauge developer‚s reaction to Aguirre‚s ideas, but the organization did not respond before press time.
San Diego, like all cities in California, is devising a general plan to help guide the city"s growth and development. The plan is under review at the state level.
In June, a letter from the attorney general‚s environmental planner‚s office applauded the city‚s efforts to address global warming, but ultimately found that the plan lacked enforceable mitigation.
"In some respects, the proposed General Plan reads more as a statement of preferences and opinions, rather than a definite commitment to adopt and enforce policies and specific standards, or to use the powers the city has to enact ordinances and control development characteristics," the letter from Environmental Planner Marilyn Mirrasoul said.
Airport Cleanup Project Targets Toxic Navy Landfill
By ROB DAVIS, Voice Staff Writer, June 8, 2007
An empty field directly west of Lindbergh Field looks innocuous, all full of tan soil and dried weeds, and wrapped in a flimsy chain-link fence. More lurks beneath the surface. The groundwater is contaminated with concentrations of mercury more than 150 times above the permitted human exposure rates. The water has high levels of lead. Air samples have found high levels of carcinogenic chemicals such as benzene and vinyl chloride. The 51-acre site, once used as a Navy landfill, sits adjacent to the airport's Terminal 2, about 500 feet from San Diego Bay. The landfill is unlined, lacking the now-requisite layers that keep dirty water and gas from seeping out.
Out of SightThe Issue: Between 1950-1972, the Navy dumped trash in an unlined landfill. The airport authority now wants to excavate the toxic load.
What It Means: The airport authority’s $61 million cleanup would return the land to a useable state and allow airport terminal or parking expansion on top.
The Bigger Picture: As the authority’s board considers its future master plan, the authority says it wants to maximize the 661 acres on which Lindbergh Field sits. The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority is proposing a $61 million restoration of the site, which would clean out decades-old rubbish and burned garbage. The authority wants to use the land to either expand terminal gate space or provide more overnight parking for airplanes.If completed, the cleanup would complete a process that has been ongoing for more than 20 years. The Navy first identified the site as posing a problem in 1986. After the Pentagon decided to close the Naval Training Center in 1993, the Navy launched an extensive evaluation of the risks the site posed. It ultimately decided that cleanup was not critical and transferred the property to the Unified Port of San Diego, which then operated the airport.
The landfill's restoration highlights a broader problem in San Diego County. Thousands of toxic sites such as the landfill exist throughout the region. Cleanups are often lengthy, expensive projects. Some contaminated sites pose direct threats to human health; others do not. Leaking underground storage tanks sit beneath gas stations. A million-gallon fuel plume crawls across Point Loma. An unexploded ordinance from the military is found in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
"It's one of those out-of-sight, out-of-mind (things)," said John Anderson, a senior engineering geologist at the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board. "If it's not oozing out or getting into the bay, people tend to forget about it. A lot of times people don't know what could be under their feet."Related Links Airport Hot Topic Page
The Naval Training Center landfill, which sits across a boat channel from the new NTC development, was used between 1950 and 1971. Its exact contents are unknown but are thought to include more than 400,000 tons of household trash and construction debris. More harmful waste could be underneath the soil, according to Navy reports, including metal-plating wastes, empty pesticide containers and chemicals such as DDT, the pesticide responsible for causing the bald eagle to become an endangered species.
As the Navy moved to close the Naval Training Center, it considered excavating the buried waste. While acknowledging that the excavation was the most effective solution, the Navy passed on paying the project's then-$49 million cost. Instead, it recommended spending $6 million to improve the groundcover atop the buried trash.
"Welcome to the wily world of risk assessment," said Laura Hunter, spokeswoman for the National City-based Environmental Health Coalition. "That's what a lot of polluters do: Analyze it and reanalyze it and risk-assess away the need for cleanup."
The Navy transferred the property -- and the responsibility for cleaning it up -- to the city of San Diego in 2000, which in turn gave the land to the Unified Port of San Diego. The port now leases the land to the airport authority. As the authority looks to make short-term improvements to Lindbergh Field, the cleanup provides more land to expand the 661-acre airport's facilities.
A $61 million cleanup would turn an old Navy landfill into land the airport could use for expansion.
The authority's year-long cleanup project would excavate all the old waste. Some garbage would be hauled to the region's landfills. The burn ash would be transferred to certified facilities in Arizona and Nevada. The authority is in the early stages of detailing the project's environmental impacts. Excavation is not expected to begin until January.
Authority chairman Alan Bersin said the land, once clean, could be used for more aircraft overnight parking spaces or an expansion of the airport's Terminal 2. The authority will likely decide on the land's future use this year, Bersin said, in order to address passenger demand projected between 2012 and 2015.
The old landfill, which is regularly monitored, has never definitively been ruled to pose a threat to human health. One groundwater sample from the site showed high concentrations of mercury. High levels of lead have been found, as have a host of carcinogens.
But no drinking water wells are nearby and regulators say they do not believe the landfill's contents have been leaking into the bay."
Our concern is that the water quality in the bay would be impacted by a seep," when rainwater soaks in and causes runoff beneath the surface, said John Robertus, executive officer of the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board, the local water regulator. "It hasn't come up on my radar screen as being a problem."
Please contact Rob Davis directly with your thoughts, ideas, personal stories or tips. Or send a letter to the editor.
TOXIC POLLUTION - Toxic pollution has increased in San Diego County according to the Voice of San Diego report on EPA's Toxic Release Inventory
7/5/06, Brian Bilbray voted to end a policy that for a quarter century has banned oil and gas drilling in U.S. Coastal waters including California. (HR 4761) Having accepted over $100,000 from oil and gas companies in campaign contributions during his career, this should come as no surprise. This ends his campaign charade as an environmentalist.
Navy confirms fuel plume's presence in La Playa
Blake Jones, Peninsula Becon, August 10, 2006
Capt. Mark Patton, commanding officer at Naval Base Point Loma, has confirmed that traces of fuel product from a large plume have been detected in La Playa.
The discovery came a little more than a week after the Navy placed two investigation wells on private property about 10 feet from the federal property line. Until the announcement, officials thought the product was contained on military land.
Initial data show product at the site to be a few inches thick at a depth of up to 50 feet below the surface. Patton estimated that the thin extension, or finger, branching from the larger body of the plume could be up to 60 feet wide.
Patton said that preliminary data from the wells do not always offer the best picture and typically show more product than is actually there.
Laurie Walsh, engineer for the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board, oversees the Navy progress on the matter for the state and agreed that weeks of readings from the wells are necessary to show the true fuel level there
nitially, you can get a build-up of fuel, and at times it can be higher than what would be seen in the aquifer itse WWalsh said. It is not an exact science; it is estimation.
Regardless of how accurate the early findings prove to be, Patton said he preferred to take what information he had to the public immediately.
We wanted to put out preliminary information that we had and not keep that from public knowledge because we knew there was a strong public interest, he said.
Within a day of receiving the results from a Navy contractor, Patton noticed District 2 Councilman Kevin Faulconer and Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego). Other local leaders, including representatives from the Peninsula Community Planning Board, Point Loma Association, Coastkeeper, Audubon Society and Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, were briefed on Tuesday, Aug. 1.
A second phase of wells“ already permitted and extending further into the community will be placed the week of Aug. 7, though information from the sites will not be readily available for another two to three weeks. A third phase is planned if necessary. Patton said the process will continue until the plume’s northernmost boundary is established.
We need to see where it is gone, Walsh said. She stressed that identifying the plume’s perimeter is currently the most pressing step and one that must take place before a corrective action plan can be developed.
Such a plan was slated for completion in September, though incorporating the most recent data will push the deadline into October, Walsh said.
The recent announcement is the latest in a series of discoveries about the plume’s boundaries and its curious migration northward and uphill, when for years Navy attention had been focused on halting its downhill and eastern movement toward the bay.
n July, a geologic survey at the base attributed the migration toward the property line to hydraulic forces pushing north as the underground water table flattens as well as small ground fractures detected by electric and seismic signals that might have guided the fuel in that direction.
Now that it is clear that fuel has reached La Playa, Patton said the same noninvasive technology will be employed in the neighborhood to better understand the area. He added that vapor probes have already been set up near the wells and show no indication of health hazards.
Neither Patton nor Walsh commented on a future cleanup plan for the residential extent of the plume, saying it was too soon to guess what action might be needed. Walsh did note, however, that the Navy is responsible for remediation wherever fuel is found.
For five years, the Navy has collaborated with the state and local governments to extract the fuel and water mixture from the ground on the base.
Each week the Navy removes 45,000 gallons of liquid from the affected area. Roughly 128,000 gallons of actual fuel have been pumped out of the plume to date, along with a much greater amount of water, which is extracted from the mixture and sent into the sewer system. The recovered fuel is later resold and reused.
Extraction takes place from the same wells used for monitoring and investigation purposes, which are no wider than 4 inches but reach depths of up to 60 feet. Patton said the Navy has spent $1.5 million to date on well permitting, digging and maintenance.
Both the Navy and the water board maintain that there are no new leaks, only more precise technology allowing both to accurately map the plume.
Rough estimates have indicated that the mass, which lies within 340 yards of San Diego Bay, could be as large as 1.5 million gallons.
Fuel began dripping from the bottom of one of the aboveground tanks in 1999. The petroleum continued to seep through the dry, rocky ground until it hit the water table 50 feet below, where it spread laterally.
Sensors alerted officials to the first leak in 2000, and the Navy took one tank offline. Two more leaks were subsequently discovered in 2002 and 2003.
The Navy is currently pursuing a project to replace the 27 aboveground and 23 underground tanks with 10 state-of-the-art mega-tanks.
As one of the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserves, the submarine base stores roughly 42 million gallons of fuel on site for the Navy, Army, Marine Corps and Air Force.
Patton said that $135 million has already been programmed for the project, $10 million more than initial estimates presented in March.
The first dollars are scheduled to be released in October 2007, and construction could begin in early 2008.
Another town hall forum to discuss the latest developments is tentatively planned for September, at which time more conclusive evidence as to the plume’s perimeter should be available.
The best thing I can do to quell fears is to continue to talk to any groups that want me to come talk to them, Patton said. © 2006 San Diego News
Questionable Cancer Cluster
Navy Fuel Tanks Plume Under La Playa?
There is growing concern over a number of SD Yacht Club members/residents in La Playa having cancer.
Navy Fuel Tanks:The Regional Water Quality Control Board stated that the Navy is applying for additional permits for more monitoring wells.
The Navy plans to install multiple level monitoring stations on Navy and private property. The plume consists of JP3 aviation fuel. The fumes are highly flammable, carcinogenic, and toxic and it removes oxygen from the air.
Pacific Gateway foes may file suit
City urged to halt project and order more studies
By Dani Dodge, Union-Tribune, STAFF WRITER, Dec. 16, 2006
Opponents of Douglas Manchester's proposal to develop a prime piece of waterfront property are asking the San Diego City Council to stop the project unless the developer studies its environmental consequences. If not, they say they will sue.“We think we have a lawyer now and enough money to do what we need: (get) a stay or an injunction,” said Ian Trowbridge, a retired biology professor.
The City Council is scheduled to hear arguments Jan. 9 regarding the need for a new environmental review on Manchester's Pacific Gateway project. The proposal for offices, hotels and retail is slated to be built on 14.7 acres of Navy land at Broadway and Harbor Drive.
The Centre City Development Corp., the city's downtown redevelopment arm, has given the go-ahead to the project's overall layout, but it still faces review by the California Coastal Commission.
The Navy did an environmental review of a proposal to redevelop the land in 1990, and the city approved a redevelopment plan in 1992.The city's development department maintains environmental issues regarding the project have been adequately addressed. Two citizen appeals of that decision have been filed.
Copies of the appeals filed against the Pacific Gateway Project can be found online at uniontrib.com.
A 27-page appeal by Trowbridge and the Broadway Complex Coalition claims the 1990 environmental review is not enough, because it did not predict the changes in the city, or changes in law over the past 16 years.A 20-page-appeal by Conrad Hartsell and Katheryn Rhodes focuses on the need for more seismic review and parking. Both appeals ask the City Council to force the developer to do more environmental studies before moving forward.
“The appellants have made very professional presentations, and every issue they raised has been or is being studied carefully,” said Jim Waring, Mayor Jerry Sanders' chief of land use and economic development. “If we determine we missed something or need to modify something, then we will report that.”Perry Dealy, the president of Manchester Development, said he's hopeful the council will reject the appeals quickly. “The way we've analyzed it . . . we shouldn't have any issues,” Dealy said.
Rhodes said her biggest concern is the potential that an earthquake fault lies under the proposed development. Information has come out since 1990 that shows a fault line headed in its direction, she said. The only way to know if it stretches under the project is to do a seismic study, she said.
“I think there's a very good probability there's a fault under the site,” Rhodes said.
At a Centre City Development Corp. meeting last month, Dealy said studies have already been conducted. “Fortunately, the studies came out negative aside from the need to do some extra diligence in pile-driving,” Dealy said.Dealy declined to release the study to Rhodes, but said it would be provided to the city as the project moves forward.
Rhodes also believes that to conform to current city standards, more parking must be provided. Dealy says the project's parking provisions conform with the 1992 development agreement.
Trowbridge's concerns are wide-ranging and include that no environmental assessment has taken into account the potential for a terrorist attack against the Navy's Southwest Regional Command building, which will be part of the development.
Both he and Rhodes said they believe that if City Council members carefully read their appeals, and follow the law, they will rule in their favor.“We have an excellent chance,” Trowbridge said. “It's pretty audacious for them to try to use a 16-year-old document and say that's enough.”
If not, they are off to court. Some $10,000 has been raised – in $1,000 and $2,000 chunks – to pay for the legal filing if it's necessary, Trowbridge said. Wrong Numbers on Navy Broadway EA
The parking analysis used the wrong numbers for parking ratios. They used draft numbers instead of the Municipal Code. (Half the number of parking spaces needed, no public parking)
The following are link to the new report.Environmental Assessment (EA), prepared by EDAW, Inc., June 2006.
More info.: Navy_Broadway_Complex.htm
Mission Bay Park's Mystery Wetlands Reappear
By ROB DAVIS, Voice Staff Writer, July 17, 2007
Wetlands have returned to Mission Bay Park. After trying to decide whether the word's emphasis should be on the syllable wet or land, the City Council agreed Monday that 133 acres of wetlands in the park should be just that: Wetlands.
The City Council decided Monday that Mission Bay Park's wetlands will now be defined as ... wetlands.
By a 7-0 vote, the council agreed to exclude wetlands from being counted toward the park's total areas of land or water. (Though present, Councilman Jim Madaffer did not vote.)
The wetlands had disappeared from the city's records in 2000, when a surveyor looked for only land and water in the park. Wetlands that were above the mean high tide line were counted as land -- even though some of them sat in the San Diego River channel.
The definition is important because a ballot measure voters approved in 1987 allows the city to lease out only 25 percent of the park's land to hotels and other businesses. If wetlands are counted as land, it increases the space that can be leased -- at the expense of public parkland.
The park's total size has long been a moving target. In 1968, surveyors used an aerial survey to create the first definitive outline of Mission Bay Park's size. The results spelled out the park's acreage of land, water and wetlands. The surveyors found 133 acres of wetlands.
Panel rebuffs time-share project for tidelands
Access by public to coast a concern
By Maureen Magee, Union-Tribune, STAFF WRITER, Dec. 15, 2006
Excerpt: A plan to build a time-share/hotel hybrid on the public tidelands of Harbor Island was rejected by the State Lands Commission yesterday, which criticized the project for its potential to set dangerous precedent that could privatize much of California's coastline.
The proposal from Woodfin Suites Hotels LLC would be the first of its kind on state tidelands, once-submerged public property filled in for development and public benefit. In addition to 100 traditional hotel suites, the eight-story resort would include up to 40 privately owned time-share units that could be booked for stints of up to two weeks.
At the commission meeting held yesterday in San Diego, two commissioners – Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante and state Controller Steve Westly – warned that the project violates the Public Trust Doctrine and could restrict the public's access to the coast. Saying she needed more information on the matter, alternate Commissioner Anne Sheehan, filling in for Michael Genest, abstained from the vote.
The Lands Commission's advisory vote will be forwarded to the California Coastal Commission, which has final say. The Coastal Commission is scheduled to consider the project in February. Full Article:
Speaker assailed for coastal panel appointments before golf plan vote
ASSOCIATED PRESS, Union-Tribune, June 10, 2006
SACRAMENTO – Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez appointed four people as alternates to the California Coastal Commission yesterday, a move the Sierra Club and at least one commissioner said he had no authority to do.
The appointments came days before the Coastal Commission was scheduled to cast a final vote on a multimillion-dollar golf project in Pebble Beach, a high-profile development backed by actor Clint Eastwood, former Major League Baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth and retired golfer Arnold Palmer.
The Pebble Beach Co., which hosts the annual fundraiser for the Democratic Party, is pushing a plan to build an 18-hole course, a driving range, an equestrian center, 160 hotel units, a conference center and underground parking.In March, a Coastal Commission staff member described the project as “highly problematic” because developers would cut sensitive pine trees in the Del Monte Forest and pave wetlands.
“To sacrifice these pine forests for golf is frivolous,” said Mark Massara, an attorney and director of Sierra Club's coastal programs. “The speaker is trying to insert a yes-person who has no experience in coastal issues.
Â ”The appointment of Elizabeth Blem, a commercial and securities attorney from Orange County, has especially raised eyebrows. She is expected to vote Wednesday because the commissioner she was named to represent, Chula Vista Mayor Steve Padilla, cannot make the meeting.
Padilla said only he can decide his alternate. “I have not made any changes to my alternate,” he said. Padilla said state law requires that commissioners select their alternates, not politicians in Sacramento. He declined to comment on the Pebble Beach vote, saying his alternate for years, David Allgood, will cast a vote – not Blem.Núñez appointed three new alternates – Blem, Adi Liberman and Ralph Rubio – and reassigned Allgood to another commissioner. The commission's executive director, Peter Douglas, could not be reached yesterday.
Help protect Del Monte Forest & stop the overturn Coastal Act protections
Please read the above U-T piece, to see what dire political forces are at work in Sacramento to ensure Pebble Beach's development of Del Monte Forest for a ninth golf course, equestrian center, residential homes, etc. Please write a brief letter of opposition to the editor expressing your deep concern with the project itself, but also with Speaker Fabian Nunez's attempt to overturn Coastal Act protections of endangered Environmentally Sensitive Habitat in the Monterey peninsula by last minute appointments to the Coastal Commission. — Coastal Watchdogs
Cell phone operators contributing San Diegian Christine Kehoe
Chris, phone home A bill to strip California cities and counties of much of their control over cell phone antennas sailed out of the state senate's local government committee late last week on a 4-1 vote, causing rejoicing among the ranks of cell phone companies and the gnashing of teeth among local-control advocates. A key point of the bill is to allow the cellular industry to "co-locate" additional antennas on existing antenna towers -- adding radiation as well as physical bulk -- without having to get discretionary permits from local government. The senator carrying the measure is San Diego Democrat Christine Kehoe, and its sponsor is T-Mobile USA, Inc., the wireless giant owned by Germany's Deutsche Telekom. Whether by coincidence or not, T-Mobile gave Kehoe's reelection fund $1000 on December 16 of last year. The bill was introduced this February 24. Other cell phone operators contributing to Kehoe have included Verizon Wireless, which kicked in $1000 last December 1, and the SBC California Employee Political Action Committee, which gave $1000 in April 2005. A lobbyist for the League of California Cities, which opposes the measure, still hopes to kill or amend it. Kehoe did not return calls.
Point Loma fuel leak costs Navy millions
UNION-TRIBUNE , Steve Liewer, February 8, 2006
The Navy is spending millions of dollars to try to stop the spread of fuel that has been leaking from aging storage tanks at Point Loma Naval Base for at least six years, the base's commander said yesterday.
Capt. Mark Patton said boat and aviation fuel has seeped into the groundwater underneath the 1930s-era, above-ground tanks. He said the fuel poses no threat to humans because the water there is not used for drinking. The Navy had discovered leaks totaling 500,000 gallons between 2000 and 2003, Patton said, and has been working to keep the fuel from flowing into nearby San Diego Bay.
Late last year, though, Navy officials learned the spill had grown to as much as 1.5 million gallons. Test wells showed it reached nearly to the base's northern edge, prompting the Navy to discuss the leaks at a town-hall-style meeting last night. Eight residents attended.
Patton said the Navy has spent $53 million shoring up the tanks, which hold part of the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve. He said the Pentagon has appropriated $115 million to replace the tanks beginning next year.
Cleaning of city water system will be delayed S.D. city attorney wants council briefed, more notice
By Terry Rodgers, Union Tribune, November 26, 2005
Plans to clean the city's entire water distribution system by injecting drinking water with a stronger chlorine disinfectant for three weeks have been postponed until Dec. 22.
The San Diego Water Department, which originally planned to begin the cleaning Monday, agreed to delay it at the request of City Attorney Mike Aguirre.
The water department normally disinfects drinking water with chloramines, a mix of chlorine and ammonia injected into the water as a gas.Water purveyors periodically switch to a purer form of chlorine to remove "biofilm," a slime-like substance that builds up on the inside of pipes and storage tanks. The stronger chlorine solution, which can affect the taste and smell of drinking water, is not harmful.
However, the stronger chlorine can harm fish in aquariums and ponds. Operators of kidney dialysis machines must adjust their equipment to remove the chlorine.The water department's Web site also advises: "People with special medical needs such as immune deficiencies, pregnancy or undergoing chemotherapy should check with their doctors to determine if any special precautions need to be taken, just as they would for any food or water source.
"Aguirre said he asked for the postponement so the City Council can be briefed and to allow the public more notice about the temporary change to the drinking water.
"We need to make sure the council knows why this is happening," Aguirre said. "Also, this will give the public the time they need to make appropriate preparations, including anyone who feels they need to consult with their doctor."After consulting with Aguirre, Councilwoman Donna Frye agreed the council and residents deserve a more thorough explanation.
"It's a public right-to-know issue and public health issue," Frye said. "Those issues have to be handled a lot more effectively than this was.
"Water department director Frank Belock, whose last day of city service was yesterday, said he agreed to the postponement "out of an abundance of caution.
"Belock, who is leaving the city to work for a private engineering firm, emphasized that the chlorination cleaning poses no health risk.
Water department officials notified the media and sent more than 300 letters to dialysis treatment centers and water-dependent businesses, such as Coca-Cola, to advise them of the change in chlorination, Belock said.
The City Council was not briefed, he said, because the cleaning was deemed to be routine maintenance.The water department has twice performed a similar cleaning in the past 10 years, he said.
Mission Bay Landfill Dec. 2003)
Mayor Murphy Covers Up Public Health and Safety Issue
December 12, 2003,
Mayor Dick Murphy sent a letter to the San Diego Regional Quality Control Board
requesting that they and other lead monitoring agencies for Mission Bay Landfill
testify at the Coastal Commission hearing Jan 14, 15 and 16 on theCalifornia Earth Corps petition for revocation of Permit 6-01-129,
for the SeaWorlds splash down ride.
letter stated, your testimony would assist Commissioners in finding that
the landfill adjacent to SeaWorlds current construction poses no threat
to public health and safety.
If the above statement was true, then why has
the Mission Bay Landfill Technical Advisory Committee been formed at a cost of
$250,000? Why has this committee been meeting for several years?
of the Mission Bay Landfill TAC is to find out if the Mission Bay Landfill poses
a threat to public health and safety, is leaking and finding out if contaminates
are migrating. The
another goal is to find out what use, if any, can be put at this location.
was Mayors requesting favorable testimony at the Coastal Commission hearing,
in January, when this was six months before the testing of the Mission Bay Landfill
was even started. Also, those test results will not be back until sometime after
February 2005. Public health and safety conclusion will not be reached until some
time after that.
disturbing, was Coastal Commissioner (San Diego Councilman for District 1)
Scott Peters actions to enthusiastically lead the charge to deny the petition
for revocation, never acknowledging the Mission Bay Landfill study taking place.
He ignored California Earth Corps findings and the citizens concerns
given testimony. Instead, Peters only listened to monitoring agencies representatives
with their pre-told Mayor Murphy conclusions, and the paid lobbyist (some
paid for with our tax dollars) promoting
Sea World and tourism.
This kind of done deal behavior is typical
of the City of San Diego, and unfortunately many times the Coastal Commission.
Public health and safety takes a back seat to the Citys revenue stream,
corporate control and tourisms.
For a copy of: Mayor
Murphys Dec. 12, 2003
This article (below) supports a precautionary approach to locating development utilizing hazardous materials near children. The co-location plan for San Diego is a bad plan and should be strongly discouraged by those who care about the health and safety of children.— Watchdog Kathryn Burton
Dozens of Chemicals Found in Most Americans' Bodies
By Marla Cone, Times, 7/22/05, latimes.com : Health : Kids' Health
The concentration is especially high in children, a national study says. But experts aren't sure what the health effects are.
In the largest study of chemical exposure ever conducted on human beings, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday that most American children and adults were carrying in their bodies dozens of pesticides and toxic compounds used in consumer products, many of them linked to potential health threats.
The report documented bigger doses in children than in adults of many chemicals, including some pyrethroids, which are in virtually every household pesticide, and phthalates, which are found in nail polish and other beauty products as well as in soft plastics.
The CDC's director, Dr. Julie L. Gerberding, called the national exposure report - the third in an assessment that is released biennially - a breakthrough that would help public health officials home in on the most important compounds to which Americans are routinely exposed.
The latest installment, which looked for 148 toxic compounds in the urine and blood of about 2,400 people age 6 and older in 2000 and 2001, is "the largest and most comprehensive report of its kind ever released anywhere by anyone," Gerberding said. Findings were broken down by age group and race.
At Thursday's news conference, CDC officials emphasized the good news: Steep declines were found in children's exposure to lead and secondhand cigarette smoke.
Lead levels in children have dropped significantly over several years, which Gerberding called an "astonishing public health achievement" attributable largely to its removal from gasoline and paint.
About 1.6% of young children tested from 1999 to 2002 had elevated levels of lead, which could lower their intelligence and damage their brains, compared with 88.2% in the late 1970s and 4.4% in the early 1990s.
But the discovery of more than 100 other substances in humans, particularly children, distressed environmental health experts.
"The report in general shows that people - kids and adults - are exposed to things that aren't intended to be in their body," said Dr. Jerome A. Paulson, an associate professor of pediatrics at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences who specializes in children's environmental health. "In and of itself, that is a concern. Whether it's harmful or not we can't tell from this particular study."
The new data in the 475-page report reveal how "we have fouled our own nest," Paulson said. "We contaminated the environment sufficiently that there are measurable amounts of potentially toxic substances in people - kids and adults."
The CDC did not try to gauge the health threat the chemicals might pose. A measurable amount of a compound in a person's body does not mean it causes disease or other damage, the agency noted.
For many compounds in the report, experts have little information on what amounts may be harmful or what they may do in combination.
"We are really at the beginning of a very complicated journey to understand the thousands of substances we are exposed to," said Thomas Burke, associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
The discovery of pyrethroids in most people is especially important, as no one had looked for them in the human body before. Pyrethroids are synthetic versions of natural compounds found in flowers, and they have been considered safer than older pesticides, such as DDT and chlordane, that build up in the environment and have been banned in the United States.
But in high doses, pyrethroids are toxic to the nervous system. They are the second most common class of pesticides that result in poisoning. At low doses, they might alter hormones. The compounds are used in large volumes in farm and household pesticides and are sprayed by public agencies to kill mosquitoes.
Pyrethroids "were a step forward [from DDT and other banned pesticides], but now we're beginning to understand that while they don't persist in the environment, many of us are exposed," Burke said. "We don't quite know what those levels mean."
Eleven of 12 phthalates tested were higher in children than adults. All of the phthalates but one are used in fragrances. In animal tests, and in one recent study of human babies, some of the compounds have been shown to alter male reproductive organs or to feminize hormones.
Representatives of the chemical and pesticide industries praised the study, saying that human biomonitoring is the best available tool to measure exposure. They echoed the CDC in saying that discovery of the chemicals in the human body did not automatically mean they posed a threat.
The report demonstrates "that exposure to these man-made and natural substances is extremely low," said American Chemistry Council spokesman Chris VandenHeuvel.
The CDC's Gerberding said that "for the vast majority" of the 148 chemicals in the report, "we have no evidence of health effects."
Many toxicologists and environmental scientists disagree.
Studies of animals, and in some cases people, suggest that most of the compounds can affect the brain, hormones, reproductive system or the immune system, or that they are linked to cancer. "These are some bad actors," Burke said. Many of the compounds have not been studied sufficiently to know what happens with chronic exposure to low doses. "No evidence of health effects does not imply that they are not harmful," Paulson said. "It just means we don't know one way or another."
Environmental groups have called for U.S. law to require chemical companies to test industrial compounds more comprehensively, a proposal similar to one that the European Parliament is to debate in the fall.
The evidence that many contaminants amass in children more than in adults could mean that they are exposed to larger amounts - perhaps from crawling, breathing more rapidly or putting items in their mouths - or that their bodies are less able to cope with or metabolize them.
In the womb and in the first two years after birth, children undergo extraordinary cell growth, from brain neurons to immune cells, so there are more opportunities for toxic compounds to disrupt the cells, Paulson said. Animal tests show that fetuses and newborns are the most susceptible to harm from many chemicals.
In the CDC study, one of every 18 women of childbearing age, or 5.7%, had mercury that exceeded the level that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency deemed safe to a developing fetus.
Tests on schoolchildren show that mercury exposure in the womb can lower IQs, with memory and vocabulary particularly impaired.
The CDC plans to expand the national chemical report to more than 300 compounds in two years and about 500 in four years. An estimated 80,000 chemicals are in commercial use today.
Important: Class action lawsuits against cell phone makers like Nokia and Cingular over radiation emissions will be able to go forward.
Excerpt: The high court rejected hearing an appeal by companies like Nokia and Cingular Wireless challenging a decision by a U.S. appeals court that reinstated the lawsuits that argued manufacturers knew about and hid the risks of radiation emissions wireless phones posed to users.
Wireless phones are radios that emit frequency radiation, and in the United States the Federal Communications Commission must approve any device that sends out such radiation.
Exposure to high levels of radiation can cause adverse health effects, but it is less clear the impact on a wireless phone user who is exposed to low levels of radiation when a phone is held to an ear directly.
Health advocates have expressed concerns about radiation causing problems ranging from headaches to tumors. But the wireless industry has pointed to U.S. government statements that scientific evidence so far has not shown any health problems associated with wireless phone use.
Five class action lawsuits were filed in state courts seeking damages, including money for wireless users to buy a headset or reimburse those who had already had purchased one.
A U.S. district court judge dismissed the five lawsuits on the grounds that state regulation of wireless phone emissions was pre-empted by the FCC, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit overturned that decision and reinstated the cases.
Making the bay fit for all
By Laura Hunter, Union Tribune, May 15, 2005
Think of San Diego Bay today – a picture postcard image that defines us as a city and a region. Its waters serve as both playground and workplace, providing jobs, recreation, a scenic backdrop for our convention and tourism industry, and for some of our families, food on the table.Underneath its surface image, pollution endangers our bay. Chronic contamination of its fish and sediments is well documented. In 1990, a federal study rated San Diego Bay as one of the most contaminated coastal areas in the nation. Again in 1996, a state study documented widespread problems.
Now we know that there are significant risks for people and wildlife who eat fish from the bay.The task ahead is clear. If we want a healthy bay, we must clean up the sediments that lie at the base of the food chain.Recently, the Regional Water Quality Control Board directed Southwest Marine, NASSCO and other parties to clean up the mess they made. The public can encourage the regional board to set a new standard of cleanup for the bay. The board will make a final critical decision in June: It will either order polluters to heal the bay or allow this toxic legacy to be dumped on our children. When it comes to toxic chemicals, time does not heal all wounds. Notorious long-lasting poisons such as PCBs and mercury readily accumulate and
concentrate in fish and people. Chemicals like copper and zinc kill off
marine life in extremely low doses. High levels of these chemicals lurk in
the public tidelands leased by San Diego Bay commercial shipyards. These chemicals threaten the marine ecosystem as long as they are left in place. They must be removed, and soon.Sediments don't just lay still at the bottom of the bay. Tidal surges, ship propellers and even tiny ghost shrimp, who dig deep into the sediments, all
recirculate toxic sediments in the bay.All living things in the bay are at risk. While the small sensitive organisms that live on the bottom are on the front line of exposure, all species that feed from the bay are in danger. PCBs at levels as low as 7 parts per billion (ppb) can threaten the endangered Least Tern. PCB levels in the bay are over 8,000 ppb.Cleanup of the bay is also a matter of environmental justice.
Toxic pollution disproportionately impacts low-income and people of color throughout the country. This local impact is documented in Environmental Health Coalition's recent community survey of people fishing from piers near contaminated areas.Of the 109 fishers surveyed, 96 percent were people of color, primarily Latino and Filipino. Over half of the fishers fished weekly and a quarter fish daily. Almost two-thirds of the fishers eat their catch.Eating fish from the bay adds to a cumulative toxic burden on these residents. Eighty percent of the surveyed fishers live in communities that also have the highest lead hazards in housing stock, highest cancer, reproductive, respiratory risks from air contaminants and high poverty rates. These families deserve an extra measure of protection.The risks and impacts of these chemicals are very real and very serious.
Contamination in fish consumed by pregnant or breast-feeding women can put their children at higher risk of health impacts. Most at risk is the
developing fetus. New research has shown that blood in the umbilical cord concentrates mercury 70 percent higher in the fetus than in the mother. PCBs have also been linked to developmental problems in children at very low exposures.
For decades, these shipyards discharged wastes into San Diego Bay contaminating the sediments. In 1991, the regional board first asked the shipyards to voluntarily take action. After 10 years of no action, the board ordered the shipyards to perform sediment sampling in order to establish cleanup levels. In a disgraceful report, their out-of-town consultants actually suggested that we conduct no cleanup at all and hope the pollution will just "go away." Thankfully, the regional board has rejected this option. Now's the time for some tough love: require the shipyards to clean up once and for all. As you can imagine, the polluters don't see it this way. After avoiding millions of dollars of costs by using the bay as a dumping ground for waste, now the polluters are alleging that cleanup is too costly. Among the responsible parties are large defense contractors, power and oil companies with revenues in the billions of dollars and a backlog of signed contracts.
They can well afford to pay off this debt while keeping our local work force employed. The regional board is on the right track by ordering this comprehensive cleanup of the bay. We have waited long enough. The board must make those who are responsible take responsibility for it.Just think of San Diego Bay tomorrow – fish that are safe to eat, the basis of a healthy economy, an abundant fish nursery, a safe haven for hundreds of species, including us. It's a vision we can create today for tomorrow.
Imperial Beach ties with Doheny as state's most polluted Coronado beach listed among Top 10 in U.S.
On the Web— More information and a weekly beach report card is available at Heal the Bay: www.healthebay.org
By Debbi Farr Baker, UNION-TRIBUNE, San Diego-
Imperial Beach in southern San Diego County is tied as one of the most polluted beaches in the state, according to the 15th annual Beach Report Card, released today by the non-profit group Heal the Bay.
In its yearly evaluation of statewide beach water quality, the Santa
Monica-based environmental group also put Doheny Beach in Orange County on the top of its "Beach Bummer" list with Pacific Beach Point in La Jolla coming in at number 10. In a news conference held today at Tourmaline Surfing Park in Pacific Beach, Heal the Bay's executive director Mark Gold said that most of California's beaches got good marks - a letter A - during the dry months, while a whopping 90 percent failed and were given an "F" rating during the rainy season. "This is extremely critical in southern California because people are in
the water 365 days a year," Gold said. "What this strongly, dramatically
demonstrates is that we are not doing a very good job of reducing storm
water pollution from getting to our beaches." San Diego City Councilwoman Donna Frye also attended the news conference.
Gold said she was one of the leaders in getting the coastline better monitored. Frye said there is a direct relation between the storm runoff and people's health, and that people going into polluted waters face higher risks of contracting illnesses.
"The easiest and best way to clean up our water is to not let pollution
enter in the first place," Frye said. She added that some of the best ways
to do that are to recycle water for irrigation and other uses and to require
water treatment systems in new developments.
Throughout the state, 264 beaches received F grades during the rainy season. Those grades are based on information collected from more than 450 monitoring locations measuring bacteria and fecal levels along the shore from Humboldt County to the Mexican border.
The other San Diego County beaches included in the report and listed as San Diego County "Bummers" were the stretch of beach in Oceanside at the San Luis River outlet, on Mission Bay at the visitor's center and at Campland, and in Ocean Beach at the mouth of the San Diego River.
New EPA Mercury Rule
Omits Conflicting Data
By Shankar Vedantam, The Washington Post, Tuesday 22 March 2005
called stricter limits cost-effective.
When the Environmental Protection Agency
unveiled a rule last week to limit mercury emissions from U.S. power plants, officials
emphasized that the controls could not be more aggressive because the cost to
industry already far exceeded the public health payoff.
What they did not
reveal is that a Harvard University study paid for by the EPA, co-authored by
an EPA scientist and peer-reviewed by two other EPA scientists had reached the
That analysis estimated health benefits 100
times as great as the EPA did, but top agency officials ordered the finding stripped
from public documents, said a staff member who helped develop the rule. Acknowledging
the Harvard study would have forced the agency to consider more stringent controls,
said environmentalists and the study's author.
The mercury issue has long
been the focus of heated argument between utilities and environmental advocates.
Health advocates say mercury is so harmful to fetuses and pregnant women that
steps are needed to sharply control emissions; industry groups and the Bush administration
have warned that overly aggressive measures would impose heavy costs.
the new rule last Tuesday, officials used charts to emphasize that most mercury
toxicity in the United States comes from foreign sources, and they used their
cost-benefit analysis to show that domestic controls had minimal impact.
Asked about the Harvard analysis, Al McGartland, director of the EPA's National
Center for Environmental Economics, said it was submitted too late to be factored
into the agency's calculations. He added that crucial elements of the analysis
Interviews and documents, however, show that the EPA received
the study results by the Jan. 3 deadline, and that officials had been briefed
about its methodology as early as last August. EPA officials referred to some
aspects of the Harvard study in a briefing for The Washington Post on Feb. 2.
The Harvard study concluded that mercury controls similar to those the EPA
proposed could save nearly $5 billion a year through reduced neurological and
cardiac harm. Last Tuesday, however, officials said the health benefits were worth
no more than $50 million a year while the cost to industry would be $750 million
"They are saying if they fail to regulate mercury from power
plants at all, it really wouldn't make a difference," said John Walke, clean
air director with the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental advocacy
group. "To acknowledge the real benefits would be to raise the next question:
Why didn't you go further?"
James Hammitt, director of the Harvard Center
for Risk Analysis and co-author of the study, agreed: "If you have a larger
effect of the benefits, that would suggest more aggressive controls were justified."
Mercury is a toxic metal emitted by industrial sources. U.S. power plants
emit 48 tons a year, and the new rule establishes an emissions-trading program
that is expected to lower emissions to about 31 tons by 2010 and to about 15 tons
by 2026. The Harvard analysis was based on similar targets in President Bush's "Clear Skies" legislative proposal.
In most cases, mercury toxicity
results from eating fish: Industrial emissions fall from the air into water and
are taken up by fish. Because the metal does not break down, it moves steadily
up the food chain to species that people consume. A major reason for the dramatic
difference in the health benefit estimates was that the EPA looked only at the
effects of reducing mercury levels in freshwater fish, but most of the fish Americans
eat comes from oceans.
"Some very large share of mercury exposure comes
from tuna," Hammitt said. "And while it's true that our power plants
have less effect on tuna than on [freshwater] northern pike, if you ignore the
saltwater pathway you'll miss a lot of the benefit."
Even though U.S.
power plants contribute only about 1 percent of the mercury in the oceans, reducing
even that small amount makes a difference, he said. The EPA has said that ocean
species such as tuna, pollock, shrimp and halibut account for two-thirds of the
mercury Americans consume, while catfish, the largest source of mercury among
freshwater fish, accounts for only 3 percent.
Hammitt's analysis also factored
in recent evidence that mercury causes heart attacks among adults. The EPA said
other studies contradicted that finding and therefore it quantified only the impact
of mercury's better-known neurological hazards. Spokeswoman Cynthia Bergman called
Hammitt's cardiac analysis "flawed."
The EPA's McGartland, an economist,
said that the preliminary Harvard results sent to the agency on Jan. 3 were inadequate,
and that the full study did not become available until February. He questioned
the Harvard findings about marine mercury, arguing that ocean levels of mercury
do not easily change. No EPA draft of the rule ever discussed the Harvard results,
But the EPA staff member involved with developing the rule said
the reference deleted from rule-making documents would have told the public about
the Harvard results. "The idea was to say Harvard School of Public Health
had quantified these [cardiac] benefits and the amount of these benefits was -
" a blank that was to be filled in with a figure in the billions once the
final report became available, said the staff member, who spoke on the condition
of anonymity for fear of retaliation.
EPA scientist William Farland, who
is the agency's deputy assistant administrator for science in research and development,
said he had not seen the Harvard analysis and could not comment on its quality.
He said the EPA had not quantified the cardiac costs of mercury because "the
science is just not strong enough at this point." While mercury could well
damage the heart, he said, that harm might be offset by the known cardiac benefits
of eating fish.
Although EPA spokeswoman Bergman said last Tuesday that the "costs of this rule outweigh the benefits," officials said later in
the week that the cardiac benefits could change the equation. "We say the
costs are bigger than the quantified benefits," McGartland said. "No
one can definitively say the costs are bigger than the benefits."
Hammitt, who was cautious in describing his findings, readily acknowledged the
uncertainties in such analyses. But he questioned the EPA's decision to ignore
a study that the agency had paid for and that agency scientists Jacqueline Moya
and Rita Schoeny had reviewed.
"If they think there is no significant
effect of U.S. power plants on the marine fish we eat, they ought to make that
case as opposed to just ignoring it," he said. The fact that U.S. contribution
to mercury in oceans "is a small part of the problem doesn't mean it is a
part of the problem that should be ignored."
Hammitt's Harvard Center
for Risk Analysis has been widely cited by the Bush administration on various
science issues. Hammitt assumed leadership of the center from John D. Graham,
who is now the administrator of the Federal Office of Information and Regulatory
Affairs in the White House Office of Management and Budget. Hammitt noted that
Graham was criticized during his confirmation hearings for being "pro-industry."
"I didn't think that was terribly fair," Hammitt said. "Now
here we are, doing the same kind of analysis and it comes out in a more environmentally
protective direction than EPA is, and they ignore it. There is an irony in that."
The Harvard study was commissioned through EPA grants to an independent nonprofit
organization of northeastern-state governments that works on regional environmental
issues. Praveen Amar, director of science and policy at the Northeast States for
Coordinated Air Use Management, said the EPA provided about $270,000 in funding
for the project. Amar said that scientist Glenn Rice, Hammitt's co-author, is
an EPA employee who had been given time to work on a doctoral thesis at the Harvard
"Are you saving the industry a billion dollars but taking away
$10 billion worth of benefits for the general public?" Amar asked.
Building a highrise on the fault lineSan Diego project showcases seismic zone design By ROBERT BOURDAGES Poggemeyer Design Group
When finished next spring, Acqua Vista will have 387 residential units in twin 18-story towers ˜ all on a potentially active fault line. Parts of Southern California are known for their strong and frequent earthquakes. So, what does it take to design a modern building in quake country? T
The answers can be found in a project under construction in San Diego. The project, Acqua Vista, is a 387-unit residential building located in the Little Italy district of San Diego.
It is a cast-in-place concrete building with twin towers extending 18 stories above grade and two levels of underground parking. The towers are connected up to level eight, where an open courtyard and pool level are located. The building footprint is 200 feet by 300 feet. Earthquake country Acqua Vista's site is situated within 2 kilometers of an active fault and is directly over an ancient fault line that has not been active for more than 125,000 years.
The dominant tectonic system in the local area is the Rose Canyon Fault Zone, a fault zone associated with the general San Andreas Fault system. These faults are identified with the Pacific-North American Plate margin in Southern California. The western side of the San Andreas Fault moves northward relative to the eastern side at an estimated rate of 50 millimeters a year. Earthquakes here tend to be shallow, strong, and frequent with short duration. Aftershocks are common. The Seattle tectonic setting, by comparison, is characterized by subduction, where the heavier Pacific Plate moves westward and under the North American Plate. Earthquakes here generally are deep seated, moderate in strength, and are longer in duration. Aftershocks are less common than the Southern California quakes.
Design criteria For this project, the lateral load resisting system was required to resist seismic forces prescribed in the California Building Code: Zone 4, Downtown Special Fault Zone. Wind loading was specified at 70 mph (basic wind speed), exposure C. Wind loading did not control the lateral design. The underlying soils were classified as Bay Pointe Formation, beginning about 15 feet below the existing grade. These materials are good bearing materials for conventional spread footings and have an allowable bearing pressure of 6,000 pounds per square foot. The soils were identified as severely corrosive.
The ancient fault running through the site was determined to be inert (classified as potentially active) and therefore no setbacks or other mitigating measures were required.[and more.]
Poggemeyer Design Group provided the preliminary and final structural design and construction administration services.
Matt Schmitter was the project engineer. Robert Bourdages is senior vice president of Poggemeyer Design Group, a multi-disciplined design firm with offices in Washington, Nevada and Ohio.
He is president of the Seattle Chapter of the Structural Engineers Association of Washington and chairs the Architects and Engineers Legislative Council of Washington.
The Rose Canyon Fault Why San Diegans shouldn't be complacent
By Patrick L. Abbott in Environment Southwest Winter Spring 1989
In a state as hard hit by earthquakes as California, San Diego has had an enviable history free of seismic catastrophe. This has helped create a myth that San Diego sits in a seismically quiet zone, but such is not the case. A major fault zone cuts across the heart of San Diego, and it moves every 350 years or so. Our 220 years without an earthquake are only advancing us toward the inevitable event..... .microearthquake swarms of 1985 and 1986, which included a magnitude 4.7 event on October 29, 1986.
There is a large body of evidence that says the Rose Canyon fault is active. This evidence is established by several things: our knowledge of plate tectonics; the Long Beach earthquake of 1933; the regional analysis of movement of all Southern California faults; the existence of Mount Soledad, Mission Bay, Point Loma, and San Diego Bay; the offset coastline at La Jolla; the deformed former sea floors; fault-affected soils downtown; the offset stream features in Rose Canyon; and the small earthquakes that occur within the Rose Canyon Fault system.
Yet the State of California, the County of San Diego, the City of San Diego, and several professional organizations have found the Rose Canyon Fault zone to be not active beyond a reasonable doubt.
Why has the Rose Canyon Fault been found inactive in the face of the available evidence? Because no prehistoric earthquake record has been unearthed along the Rose Canyon Fault (although the fault is only on land from La Jolla to downtown, and good sites for geologic analysis are buried beneath Interstate 5 and buildings).
Because no big earthquake has happened during the time Aan Diego has been occupied by Europeans (only 220 years-a very short time when discussing the movements of earthquake-producing faults). And because it would make San Diego residents spend additional money to build really safe buildings. And so we pretend no certain danger exists.
The Uniform Building Code and the Structural Engineers Association of California both place San Diego in seismic Zone 3 (see Figure 6), which requires buildings to withstand only 75 percent of the lateral force from earthquakes that Seismic Zone 4 mandates. If everyone agrees that San Diego faces a lesser threat from strong earthquakes, and that agreement remains written in the official building codes, then no one can be blamed after the big earthquake occurs.
Dr. Patrick L. Abbott is a professor of geology at San Diego State University.
water, fried taxpayers
By Larry Stirling, San Diego Daily Transcript,
March 9, 2005
I used to be the San Diego city manager's budget analyst
for the San Diego City Utilities Department.
That is the city department responsible
for supplying clean, potable water to our homes and disposing of what they refer
to as "gray" and "lumpy" water that emerges on the other side
of the property.
It was the same department staff that coined the term "refried"
as shorthand slang for reclaimed water.
Working with the water department people
was a joy. They were "can do" people working out in the real world doing
something critical for our community, and doing a great job of it.
King was water director in my day, and his favorite rejoinder to questions of
our water future would be to respond, "Well, I have some good news and some
When asked about the good news, he would respond with a grin,
"In 20 years, all we'll have nothing but sewage!"
would go the rejoinder, "then what could the bad news possibly be?"
hook set, King would reel us in by saying, "The bad news is that there wont
be enough sewage to go around."
King's joke can only be topped by the
horrible joke that constitutes today's water reclamation situation in San Diego.
understanding that San Diego is at the tail end of a long and fragile imported
water supply system, I carried several pieces of legislation promoting water reclamation
in San Diego.
The basic notion is that all water is reclaimed; the only question
is by who, God or humans.
Since God has chosen to endow Northern California
with the water and Southern California with the people, we had to do something
about the water supply system here.
Reclaimed water can be rendered entirely
"potable" and safe to drink much more easily than seawater can "desalinated."
The last I heard, it takes 15 times as much energy to clean up seawater as it
does to clean up sewer water.
Plus, once reclaimed, the seawater would have
to be pumped inland from the ocean to be used at all -- an additional cost. Reclaimed
water, on the other hand, can be treated "in line" upstream and used
downstream, minimizing additional pumping costs.
There isn't just clean salt
in the ocean, dear friends. There are billions of critters that live and die in
the ocean and that, between the two events, create their own massive amount of
Plus, all the pollutants that run off every continent end up in the
ocean. Seawater is simply more polluted than domestic sewer water.
fiasco taught our elected officials that public acceptance of drinking human-made
reclaimed water is a long way off.
However, the public rightfully accepts landscape
irrigation with suitably reclaimed water.
So why in the heck did the city spend
taxpayer money to build two water reclamation plants, only to dump 180,000 gallons
of reclaimed water into the Point Loma Treatment plant every day? This is crazy.
only is this a waste of reclaimed water, it is a waste of treatment costs at Point
When the toilet-to-tap gambit didn't work, they should have gone to "Plan
B," which is to irrigate the vast highway and city landscape, including all
the golf courses and parks, with clean reclaimed water.
There must be half
a dozen uses for reclaimed water right now.
Irrigating landscape alone consumes
fully one-half of all urban water uses.
Parched Tijuana is not likely to be
so squeamish about a fresh pure water supply. They should have a chance to buy
Industrial operations such as car washes can use reclaimed water.
ground water basins can be done with suitably reclaimed water.
San Diego River to a year-round recreational stream can be done with reclaimed
The white sea bass released from my fish hatchery in Carlsbad are "anadromous"
-- that is, they, same as salmon, like to commute up fresh water streams to lay
their eggs and hatch their young. I am sure the white sea bass would like their
river back, and would be thrilled with the reclaimed water product from our two
Flushing contaminants from polluted urban runoff can use the
So why is this not happening?
Perhaps for the same reason the
retirement fund problem is not yet fixed.
I'm sorry to say, but I think King
has been proven wrong. We have plenty of reclaimed sewage to go around.
what we don't have are enough good policy makers to go around.
line up to sequester seals, Pinniped population dips at Children's Pool
Terry Rodgers, Union-TribuneJanuary 26, 2005
Volunteers, such as Andrea
Hahn, were staffing signs and a line raked in the sand at Children's Pool in La
Jolla recently to keep visitors from disturbing harbor seals that frequent the
Protectors of La Jolla's famous harbor seal colony have literally
drawn a line in the sand to keep the public from the easily spooked marine mammals.
"Rake a line, hold a sign" is the name they've given to a volunteer-run
program intended to give the skittish seals at Children's Pool beach some space.
From dawn to dusk, volunteers take turns holding signs urging the public to
watch the wild animals from a distance. Using a wooden rake, they etch a 20-inch-wide
line in the sand across the crescent-shaped cove.
"This is an emergency,
labor-intensive effort, and it's not nearly enough," said James Hudnall,
a La Jolla retiree who works the morning shift. The effort became necessary because
the seals are showing signs of stress from being repeatedly frightened and flushed
into the water, Hudnall said.
The colony, which once numbered about 200,
has dwindled to less than 90 seals. In recent weeks, seven baby seals have
died after being born prematurely, he said.
According to a Web site maintained
by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the mortality rate for
young seals, including those born after reaching their full term, can be as high
as 50 percent. The cove, which is shielded from the pounding surf by a concrete
sea wall built in the 1930s, used to be more of a safe haven for seals. The pinnipeds
were protected from human intruders by signs and a rope barrier that was erected
A man and a boy visited Children's Pool, where volunteers are raking
a line in the sand to give harbor seals some space. Volunteers say the seals are
showing signs of stress.
In September, the San Diego City Council adopted
a "joint use" policy that allows people equal access to share the cove
with the seals. The council's action was prompted by complaints the seals were
becoming too numerous and fouling the water and shoreline with their waste. To
encourage more public use, the city removed the rope and reduced the number of
signs on the beach.
As more people began using the cove to swim, dive and
sunbathe, they were confronted by activists who believe the seal colony is unique
and should have priority.
Arguments broke out on the beach. A few escalated
into shoving matches. Last year, police responded to 58 disturbances at the cove.
Two-thirds of those occurred after the council ordered the rope barrier removed.
Animal-rights activists complain they've been harassed by police, who have
threatened them with arrest and confiscated signs and traffic cones used to keep
people away from the seals. The harassment allegations coincided with police efforts
to enforce the city code, which prohibits signs from being posted on the beaches.
"The police are making it hard for activists to exercise their simple
civil rights," said Jane Cartmill of San Diego Animal Advocates.
"I have to believe this is all orchestrated," she said. "The city
doesn't want the seals there and they don't want the seal activists there, either.
Anyone trying to interfere with that is going to be treated harshly."
Dan Christman of the Police Department's Northern Division said his officers have
been encouraged to be fair and neutral when responding to disputes at Children's
"We're trying to keep the peace and make sure everyone's rights
are protected," he said. "Our whole intent is to maintain a middle ground.
The fact is, there are very strong feelings on both sides."
have been given written guidelines that say signs can be displayed as long as
the sign-holder stays close to it and doesn't post it in the ground. Unattended
signs can be seized. Repeat offenders can be ticketed.
the ongoing dispute has tested officers' patience.
"The frustrating part
is some of the pettiness that occurs," he said.
Police will respond to
reports of animal cruelty, but they do not enforce the Marine Mammal Protection
Act. Under federal law, any action that causes resting seals to flee into the
water is considered harassment. Scientists with the National Marine Fisheries
Service have urged the city to temporarily reinstate the rope to promote a calmer
atmosphere and allow the seals to have a successful birthing season, which runs
from January to July.
If disturbed too often, harbor seals have been known
to abandon favorite sites or their pups.
City officials say they will
consider the scientists' request once they have received it in writing.
the meantime, a parade of volunteers will work on behalf of the seals.
tactics by seal advocates were too confrontational, said Hudnall, who has urged
volunteers to be more civil toward beachgoers who ignore the signs and cross the
Beachgoers who previously were forced to run a gauntlet of jeers and
sneers are getting less flak from seal activists, said John Steel, a retired doctor
who regularly swims at Children's Pool.
"It's still an obnoxious situation,
but not as bad as it was," said Steel, who has also noticed that the number
of seals has declined.
Like others who favor the "shared use" concept,
he's annoyed by the constant presence of the seal protectors.
cordon off a beach with that nonsense," he said. "The protesters want
people off the beach permanently."
The less-aggressive approach now being
employed by seal advocates "is a more effective way of educating the public
as to the situation at Children's Pool beach," said Michelle Zetwo, a special
agent for NOAA, which enforces the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
slight reduction in tension, Zetwo said her agency continues to receive a steady
number of calls to its marine mammal harassment hotline related to Children's
Hudnall said the daytime vigil is only partially effective. He finds
numerous footprints inside the line in the sand when he arrives at daybreak.
we go home, it all goes to hell," he said.
spills foul San Diego waters, Nearly 2.3 million gallons flow from treatment plant
Terry Rodgers, Union Tribune, October 29, 2004. FRED GREAVES
San Diego, as seen from La Jolla, emerged from the gloom yesterday morning after
a powerful Pacific storm moved through the area. After a series of storms that
dumped almost as much rain as San Diego received all last year, forecasters are
predicting typical amounts of precipitation through year's end.
* Normal precipitation
seen for rest of year
City engineers still don't know how a tremendous surge of water breached San
Diego's sewer system, causing a series of overflows that fouled miles of coastline.
The largest spill, more than 2.2 million gallons, occurred when excessive
flows of sewage and trash-filled runoff clogged the Point Loma sewage treatment
plant during Wednesday's rains.
The ongoing investigation will attempt to
pinpoint how the system became overwhelmed with sewage, debris and runoff, said
Michael Scahill, spokesman for the Metropolitan Wastewater Department.
had heavy rains before and didn't have a problem," Scahill said. "This
is certainly an anomaly."
City engineers are trying to determine how the influx of water, either from
rain or a waterline break, got into the sewer system. In San Diego, the sewer
system is separate from the storm-drain system.
Today, beaches from Point
Loma to Ocean Beach remain closed and won't be reopened until tests show that
bacteria levels meet state standards.
City lifeguards were enforcing the mandatory
beach closure. Surfers who ignored the contamination warnings yesterday were ordered
out of the water.
don't know why they do it," said lifeguard Lt. Nick Lerma. "They haven't
thought of the consequences and the risks, of which there are many."
before noon Wednesday, sewer pipes that normally carry 175 million gallons of
sewage each day to the Point Loma plant were suddenly hit with double the volume.
large sewage spills in San Diego County
Oct. 27, 2004: Wastewater and debris
clog the Point Loma treatment plant, sending 2.26 million gallons into the ocean.
Feb. 23, 2004: A clogged sewer line in Balboa Park causes 4.6 million gallons
of raw waste to flow into San Diego Bay.
January 2002: Two sewage spills in
the Tijuana River Valley send nearly 1 million gallons of waste into the Tijuana
February 2001: Mission Bay is contaminated by an estimated 1.5 million
gallons of raw sewage caused by a clogged sewer line that overflowed into Tecolote
September 2000: An estimated 2.7 million gallons of sewage overflows
from a Camp Pendleton housing complex into the Santa Margarita River estuary.
February 2000: A clogged sewer line along Alvarado Creek goes undetected for
a week, allowing 34 million gallons of sewage to flow into the San Diego River.
Diego County gets an 'F' in air quality again
Kathryn Balint, San Diego Union Tribune, April 29, 2004
For the fifth
year in a row, San Diego County has received an "F" in air quality from
the American Lung Association.
It is a grade that local air pollution
officials say is unfair.
"We've made significant progress," said
Bill Brick, a senior air pollution meteorologist with the San Diego County Air
Pollution Control District (APCD). "We don't think their grading system gives
us any credit for that."
In a report to be released today, the lung
association says 159 million Americans live in counties with unhealthful levels
of ozone and tiny particles in the air. The assessment is based on samples
taken in 2000 to 2002.
This is the first time the lung association has given
grades for air particles. The report said San Diego County was the 25th worst
for short-term particle pollution. The county was not spotlighted in the report
for its ozone pollution, but it figured into the "F" grade.
think what it means is that we not only need to continue to make progress in reducing
ozone levels, but we also need to get serious about cleaning up particle matter
in the air," said Jan Cortez, vice president of environmental health for
the American Lung Association of San Diego and Imperial Counties.
in the lower atmosphere when sunlight and heat interact with vehicle emissions,
solvents and industrial pollutants. Even at very low levels, ozone can aggravate
respiratory conditions, interfere with the ability of plants to produce and store
food and damage materials such as rubber.
Particulate matter in the air
has been linked to an increase in heart attacks, strokes, asthma attacks and even
premature death, said Dr. Norman Edelman, a consultant to the American Lung
Edelman said the tiniest particles do the most damage, penetrating
deep into the lungs and sometimes even getting into the bloodstream. He said it
is unclear how particles in the air contribute to heart disease but that studies
have shown an increase in deaths from heart disease two days or so after exposure
to high levels of particles in the air.
Brick said the next big push will
be aimed at particulate matter.
The lung association's report does not
take into account last fall's fires, which filled the air with as much as 16 times
more particles than usual, causing various parts of the county to experience "very
unhealthful" and even "hazardous" particulate levels.
county's ozone violations are usually recorded in Alpine, where a west-facing
slope traps the pollutant. From that data, the lung association report concludes
that all 2.9 million people in the county are breathing unhealthful ozone.
Air Pollution Control District has a much lower estimate. An ozone violation at
Alpine one of 10 measuring stations in the county would affect about
150,000 people in Alpine and Ramona who live about 1,500 to 2,500 feet above sea
Kathryn Balint: (619) 293-2848; email@example.comStudy
finds S.D. roads in disrepair
authority opposes condo plan, High-rise would be partly in safety area
Jeff Ristine, San Diego Union Tribune,September 10, 2004
airport agency has determined that a proposed 128-unit condominium project beneath
the approach corridor to Lindbergh Field would penetrate safety zones established
by the Federal Aviation Administration and the city of San Diego.
high-rise project on Laurel Street, which would devote half its units to affordable
housing, is not considered a hazard to aircraft under FAA guidelines. The
building would, however, lie within an FAA buffer zone aimed at establishing an
extra layer of protection.
And airport officials said yesterday they were
concerned about the potential cumulative effect that too many similar structures
would have on the use of airspace approaching Lindbergh Field. The airport agency
will argue against the proposal when it reaches the San Diego City Council.
authority board is responsible for determining whether development proposals near
any of the county's public or military airports comply with land-use plans
aimed at protecting the public from excessive noise and crash hazards.
the board nor the FAA can stop a project.
But yesterday's 8-1 vote by the
San Diego County Regional Airport Authority means the project will need the approval
of two-thirds of the City Council to go forward. That means at least six members
instead of the usual five majority.
Charlotte Morrisette, representing The
J. Peter Block Companies, said the developer is committed to providing affordable
housing, but can do so only with a dense configuration. "We've got to build
the market-rate units to subsidize them," Morrisette said.
structure would be built on a sloping lot between Second and Third avenues, replacing
an apartment building and parking lot.
Linda Johnson, a planner for the airport
authority, said the building would exceed an FAA safety zone for the approach
corridor by up to 45 feet in height, and therefore would be regarded as an obstruction.
It exceeds an even more stringent building-height restriction established
by the city of San Diego by up to 95 feet, she said.
Building height guidelines
cover a broad area surrounding the airport, and the condominium project would
be near the outskirts. On a normal approach to Lindbergh Field, an aircraft would
pass 1,500 feet south of the site and would be 100 feet above the roof of the
But Ted Sexton, vice president of operations for the airport
authority, said additional obstructions below the path to Lindbergh could require
aircraft to modify their approaches in the future, and perhaps require them to
maintain a greater elevation or touch down at a point a bit farther down the runway.
Board member Paul Peterson said the authority should make a "strong presentation"
against the project before the City Council.
"I am concerned about the
cumulative effects of development under the flight path," Peterson said."We have to take a strong position."
called a leader in clean-water efforts
Terry Rodgers, UNION-TRIBUNE, August 15, 2004
number of days San Diego County beaches were closed or had warnings posted because
of high bacteria readings increased by 38 percent last year, according
to a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council.
In 2003, there were
896 closures and pollution advisories issued along the county's 76 miles of beaches,
compared with 556 the previous year.
Statewide, beach closure and contamination
warnings rose by 18 percent last year, according to the report, a summary of beach-testing
data compiled by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.
unflattering statistics, clean-water experts say California is still a national
leader in efforts to reduce beach pollution.
2001, the state has spent more than $67 million on scientific studies and programs
to combat polluted urban runoff and other forms of contamination.
has had one of the nation's most stringent beach-testing programs since 1999.
In San Diego County alone, 107 bay and beach locations are tested weekly or biweekly
between April and October.
"I don't think the city of San Diego has gone 30 percent backward in storm-water and sewage," said Bruce Reznik, executive director of San Diego BayKeeper.
I think the city of San Diego is on the right track, but we're at a critical point
right now with all the budget cuts," he said. "We'll continue to see
an increase in advisories if we don't make clean water a top priority item."
Nationwide, closures and high-bacteria advisories jumped 51 percent last year,
primarily because several East Coast states are testing more of their beaches.
Florida alone accounted for more than a third of the country's increase of
6,206 beach postings. Other states with large increases were Mississippi (337
percent); Rhode Island (196 percent); South Carolina (162 percent); and New York
The report found that local health officials were unable to
identify the sources of pollution that caused 68 percent of the closures and postings,
the highest rate of "unknown sources" in the 14 years the NRDC has compiled
This finding indicates public health officials are testing for
bacteria but not following up with investigations tracing the sources of contamination,
the report says.
The NRDC's report is tailored toward getting the attention
of lawmakers and national leaders rather than everyday beachgoers, said James
Alamillo of Heal the Bay, a Santa Monica-based environmental group that compiles
its own report on California's beaches. "It's a good report to get an overall
sense of the state of the nation's water quality and also for states that don't
have any other mechanism to provide this information to the public," he said.
Oct. 19, 2003, Reebok held a triathlon for women at the southeast corner of Mission
Bay Park, where the city is studying an old and abandoned toxic dump used by local
defense contractors and the military in the 50s.
The day before
the race, activists from the Ocean Beach Grassroots Organization handed out flyers
to triathletes who were arriving to register for the race. Race organizers laid
down the gauntlet on what activists could and couldnt saywouldnt
want to upset the psyches of these elite athletes nor put a dent in the organizers
telling them its for educational purposes, said activist John Wilks,
a former Sierra Club executive committee member. Wilks stood out among the rest
in his faux lab coat.The
flyer he was handing out listed all the cancer-causing toxic chemicals and deadly
gases that have been detected at the old dump site, which activists believe spans
well underneath a portion of neighboring SeaWorld.
No one can
tell you that the dump isnt leaking
thats what the new study
is trying to figure out, one handout stated. If you become ill
in the next week, please contact us so that we may record your symptoms and pressure
the county to post this site to prevent future exposure to athletes and children,
another flyer pleaded. This goal was achieved in 1990 with San Diego Bay!
Some triathletes speculated that Reebok will take its race somewhere
else next year, with one adding, They dont like the negative publicity.
major routes are the fourth-rockiest in the U.S., group says
Jeff Ristine, San Diego Union Tribune, April 29, 2004
of San Diego's major highways and roads ranks fourth-worst in the nation, according
to a road-industry group that says motorists pay dearly for the distinction.
The Road Information Program yesterday reported that 60 percent of the San
Diego metropolitan area's interstates, highways and other critical arteries for
commuters and commerce have pavement in poor condition.
Only Los Angeles,
San Jose and the San Francisco-Oakland area rated worse among urban populations
of 500,000 or more.
Among urban regions with 500,000 or more
residents, San Diego ranks fourth in poor road conditions, according to a new
(Percentage of roads in poor condition)
San Jose (65%)
San Francisco-Oakland (61%)
Tulsa, Okla. (41%)
Source: The Road Information
Program The group drew its conclusions from Federal Highway Administration
data on pavement conditions reported in a 2002 survey. Specific roads weren't
The Road Information Program is backed by highway engineering and
construction businesses, labor unions and other interests that benefit from increased
road-building, and its study was timed to coincide with a six-year highway and
transit funding bill, currently stalled in Congress.
The group found that
25 percent of the nation's major metropolitan roads need resurfacing or significant
repair because of rutted or uneven surfaces, cracked pavement, potholes or other
In San Diego, the group said, the bumpy roads cost motorists
on average an additional $674 a year in operating costs, well above the $400 national
average. The higher costs are related to faster vehicle deterioration, increased
maintenance, tire wear and faster fuel consumption.
Besides the 60 percent
of roads in San Diego deemed in poor condition, the group said an additional 31
percent of the roads are "mediocre."
The cause of the poor conditions
is no mystery, the group said.
It attributed the wear and tear to a 35
percent increase in travel on urban roads nationally since 1990 and a 51 percent
increase in travel by large commercial trucks, which place higher stress on roads. Spending hasn't caught up to the increased travel, the group said.
conditions are probably worse than the 2002 data suggest, the group said,
because federal and state spending on road and bridge improvements has dropped
18 percent in the past two years. It would take a 32 percent increase in annual
spending just to keep the physical condition of roads from deteriorating further,
the group said.
Brad Barnum, director of government relations for the Associated
General Contractors of San Diego, said state budget cuts threaten to make a bad
situation even worse.
Industry groups are working to restore the funding,
Barnum said. Without a proper investment, he said, "the roads aren't ever
going to get better."
The group found only three urban areas with populations
of 1 million or more where at least 75 percent of the roads are in good condition:
Atlanta, Orlando, Fla., and Jacksonville, Fla. Atlanta was a standout, with no
major roads considered "poor."
William M. Wilkins, executive director
of The Road Information Program, said strategies for smoother roads should include
improved paving materials and more durable designs and materials that cost more
but pay for themselves in longer road life spans and decreased maintenance.
know how to build and repair roads to last longer, but it requires a greater investment
upfront," Wilkins said.
Jeff Ristine: (619) 542-4580; firstname.lastname@example.org
hand seen in governor's plan to shape government
Tom Chorneau, ASSOCIATED PRESS, September 3, 2004
Arnold Schwarzenegger's plan to reorganize almost every aspect of state government
was influenced significantly by ChevronTexaco, the oil and gas giant that
managed to shape recommendations such as the removal of restrictions on oil refineries.
Many corporations and interest groups participated in the governor's plan,
known as the California Performance Review. But state records and interviews
with the participants show Chevron enjoyed immense success in influencing the
report through its lobbyists, attorneys and trade organizations.
have spent so much political cash on Schwarzenegger, either. Since Schwarzenegger's
election in October, the San Ramon company has contributed more than $200,000
to his committees and $500,000 to the California Republican Party.
whose officials say they lobbied hard to get their ideas in the report, is one
of about 20 companies that paid to send Schwarzenegger and his staff to this week's
Republican National Convention. On Wednesday, Schwarzenegger attended a closed-door
meeting in New York with representatives of those companies, including Chevron.
And three weeks after the governor's office released the 2,700-page report,
the company gave $100,000 to a Schwarzenegger-controlled political fund.
watchdogs and local agencies that regulate some of Chevron's operations complain
they had no such access and said their proposals don't appear in the report.
Hamilton, co-executive director of the reorganization plan, denied the report's
authors were influenced by Chevron or that special interests had a role in the
"I don't believe that's what took place," said
Hamilton, the deputy state comptroller of Texas. "I know these people who
did the reports; none of them had anything to gain."
Disclosure of Chevron's
role in the performance review contrasts sharply with statements Schwarzenegger
made during last year's election campaign and afterward in which he promised to
sweep out a corrupt system where "contributions go in, the favors go out."
Schwarzenegger launched the reorganization effort in January, calling the
state bureaucracy a "mastodon frozen in time" that needed to be reviewed
to eliminate waste. The administration said the recommendations in the report
would save $32 billion over five years, a claim that analysts said is exaggerated.
Although Schwarzenegger's senior aides helped organize and oversee the plan,
a spokeswoman for him said the review staff, not the governor's office, was responsible
for the report. Schwarzenegger announced the review in January and appointed its
two top members, who assembled the staff.
Ashley Snee, Schwarzenegger's deputy
press secretary, said it was premature to assume any of the recommendations will
be adopted and those who are unhappy with parts of the report can comment at statewide
Proposals that would benefit Chevron are peppered throughout the
report. They include:
Streamlining the permit process for the construction
of oil refineries and the expansion of existing ones.
Chevron, which owns
two of the state's largest refineries in Richmond and El Segundo, wanted the state's
help in revising existing laws so local government officials would be required
to make decisions quicker on construction permits at refineries.
activities of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, which
issues permits for dredging and sand mining and oversees activities related to
Chevron's interests there.
Reorganizing the regulatory process for picking
the locations for refineries, tank farms, liquefied natural gas and other energy
Chevron has two proposals to build liquefied natural gas facilities
in Southern California and in Baja California.
to produce gasoline is shrinking at the same time demand for gasoline is rising,
contributing to California's dubious position as a national leader in the fuel
prices," the report said.
"Time-consuming, costly and complex permitting
processes are among the obstacles to expanding . . . California's petroleum infrastructure
to meet the growing demand.
"The state needs to streamline its permitting
processes to allow supply to more readily keep pace with demand, so that price
volatility and price differentials are reduced."
Mark Petracca, a political
scientist at the University of California Irvine, said Chevron's considerable
influence on the report may taint the review because the study was presented to
the public as an objective and authoritative analysis of how to fix state government.
"This is good old fashioned interest-group politics," Petracca said.
"Powerful people who have money can hire powerful people and use occasions
like this report to set the agenda for policy beneficial to those interests."
In response, Snee repeated that the report was independent of the governor's
Chevron's operations have drawn scrutiny from state and federal regulators,
including a settlement in October of a lawsuit with the Justice Department that
required the company to install $275 million in air pollution equipment and pay
$3.5 million in civil penalties.
Company officials said they were doing their
jobs by vigorously participating in the process, which included meeting with senior
aides to the governor.
"This is what we are here for," Jack Coffey,
Chevron's general manager over state government relations, said from New York
where he was attending the Republican convention.
Chevron learned about the
review early and "obviously understood their agenda," Coffey said, adding
while there was direct contact by company lobbyists, most contact came through
trade groups of which Chevron is a member. "We made an effort to feed those
trade associations who were more active."
But, Coffey said, Chevron's
donations to Schwarzenegger are because of his "pro-business agenda"
and have nothing to do with the report.
A Chevron lobbyist, K.C. Bishop, said
he met with Richard Costigan, Schwarzenegger's legislative affairs secretary,
in April or May about trouble the company was having with routine refinery permits
and proposed legislation on the issue.
At the end of the discussion, Bishop
was directed to California Performance Review staff, which he visited about a
Neither the meeting with Costigan nor with the report's staff
were reported in Chevron's quarterly lobbying filings.
Also acknowledged in
the CPR report were Bishop; Mike Barr, a lawyer with Pillsbury Winthrop, the San
Francisco-based firm that represents Chevron; and affiliated lobbyists of the
Western States Petroleum, Kahl/Pownall Advocates of which Chevron is a member.
Meanwhile, the Bay Planning Coalition, a business-oriented group of which
Chevron is a board member, contacted Schwarzenegger's cabinet secretary about
problems its members were having with the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development
Schwarzenegger's staff sent the coalition's message to the staff,
which met with the coalition in April, according to Ellen Johnck, the coalition's
A letter from the coalition outlining the complaints,
including some lodged by Chevron, was used a primary source for the report that
concluded the bay commission had overstepped its authority. Although commission
officials offered documentation to rebut the allegations, none of it was included
in the report.
In its section about making it easier to locate refineries
or LNG plants, the report cites attorney Mike Carroll of Latham & Watkins
as a source. Based in the firm's Orange County office, Carroll represents Chevron
on regulatory issues, according to the firm's Web site.
Carroll didn't return
telephone calls for comment from The Associated Press.
Chevron has two
LNG proposals: a $650 million offshore facility on an island near Tijuana and
a second plan that would place a facility on or near Camp Pendleton.
is expected to meet with officials in Mexicali this month. One expected topic
of discussion is Chevron's LNG proposal