Brentwood nuke dump controversy mushrooms

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“Millennium Consulting Associates, a firm with expertise in environmental and industrial hygiene, has been retained by the Veterans Administration to perform an environmental assessment,” according to a press release issued by Los Angeles Councilman Bill Rosendahl. “Millennium’s President, Michael Noel, CIH, will explain the scope of the dog park assessment process, the sampling strategy, the schedule for the testing, and answer questions from the public.”

EnviroReporter.com
obtained a schedule of the nuke dump testing, the first part of which ended December 8. The dog park, popular with celebrities like Tori Spelling and the Barbi Twins, was closed for three days during the initial testing phase, as KTLA Channel 5 News reported. As initial dog park testing ended, Noel’s team encountered hostility at the off-leash dog park when attempting to traverse the park out of the VA site. Dog-walkers were so obstinate, according to witnesses who spoke with EnviroReporter.com, that the police had to be called in. L.A.’s Department of Rec and Parks issued the dog-walkers a written rebuke and it’s possible the dog park will have to be closed should interference with the testing team reoccur.

Despite varying accounts of the incident, it seems to have been overblown says Sue Black, founder of the Friends of Barrington Dog Park. Black has been a demonstrably active advocate that the testing of the VA property be done for the benefit of all. “[The incident] was instigated by one individual,” says Black. “There are scores of dog park visitors who wholeheartedly support this project, and many were unhappy to hear about that incident. It was unfortunate, but it didn’t affect the project and it absolutely does not represent the vast majority of dog park visitors.”

Councilman Rosendahl led efforts to have the park tested after our reports began May 18, 2006. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Los Angeles) requested VA answers about Brentwood School nuclear waste and was supposed to get them by August but still hasn’t. EnviroReporter.com‘s questions to PricewaterhouseCoopers about the Brentwood School dump were never answered and only after the Los Angeles Times article correction did we learn that the Department of Veterans Affairs-hired company that made the assessment was actually MicroTech LLC.

Word of testing the Brentwood nuke dump began on June 12, 2006, when the director of the Veterans Affairs West Los Angeles Healthcare Center (VA), Charles M. Dorman, appeared on KABC Channel 7 Eyewitness News in response to EnviroReporter.com and Los Angeles CityBeat/ValleyBeat’s ongoing investigation of the nuke dump on VA property in Brentwood. After denying that the dump was close to public recreation areas, and producing yet another redrawn map of the old dump site, Dorman promised to “identify what the honest-to-God truth is on this issue” and share the results with the public. Read a transcript of the interview in KABC Eyewitness News.

Dorman did not bother to tell us of this important decision even though it was in reaction to our five-year investigation into this nuclear and chemical dump on the northern reaches of Brentwood’s sprawling Veterans Administration campus that has sparked calls for further scrutiny by officials from the Los Angeles City Council to the U.S. Congress. Read more in “Digging Up the Dirt,” published in Los Angeles CityBeat/ValleyBeat on June 29,2006.At a Veterans Town Hall meeting, August 12, 2006, Dorman told Collins that the VA would spend $45,000 to test the dump and then share results.

There have been a lot of changes since we first broke the story on Brentwood’s buried treasure: a nuclear and chemical waste dump partially under Barrington Recreation Park and off-leash dog area. One of those changes wasn’t common sense. The Fifth Annual Bow wow ween took place at the park with the cat walk, for dogs of course, right over a known part of the nuke dump! If that wasn’t enough, there were celebrities like the Barbi Twins. If this seems incredible, see for yourself!

The Investigation

On May 18, 2006 Michael Collins published “Real Hot Property“, an in-depth investigation of a nuclear dump that lies under a popular dog park and prestigious school in Brentwood, California. A week later he published “Where the Bodies are Buried“, which revealed the human and animal radiation experiments that helped create the dump. The dumping was conducted between 1952 -1968 by the West Los Angeles Veterans Administration (VA) and nearby UCLA. The dump is located on property owned by the VA, property which is currently up for grabs as part of the CARES initiative.

Since the story broke, stunned and concerned community members have begun pressing for answers. Veterans rights advocates have expressed outrage over what they view as yet another VA sell-out at their expense.

The VA has vehemently denied any wrongdoing.

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