Good evening Mayor and Council. I’ve never spoken before. I’m not a Toastmaster [and] don’t have any notes prepared or anything but I just wanted to speak out. I think it makes sense to step back and look at the big picture of what everybody for the most part is talking about and really emotional about at this meeting and that’s the Runkle Canyon issue.
If so many people are worried about kids and the air they breathe, all these things; I don’t think three minutes is enough. I mean when we give someone a doctorate in this country, they have to sit in front of a panel and defend what they believe for hours at a time and now we’re going to put our on health at risk for it. It doesn’t make sense.
I’m not going to say to anybody in the room that I’m against KB Homes building homes. I’m really a young adult. I live and work in Simi and I’d love to have my own home. I can’t afford it right now. The more homes built, the better chance I have to get one. A little place would be great – they don’t build them here but, so I’d love that but I don’t think it’s the right place to do it if we’re going to have toxins in the air, you know. The more mountain biking and street running I do, the quicker I die.
I haven’t read all the reports. I’ve just been reading. I’m starting to get into it and read about the issues. Certainly, other citizens in the audience know more than I do but it just seems like we ought to do our due diligence, do our homework on it and try and get to the bottom of it. I was thrilled to hear that you guys did some testing and that was excellent, then I was just totally blown back and appalled – it seems like progress is still being made towards building homes instead of pulling the handbrake and saying ‘Whoa! What are we getting ourselves into?’
I don’t know about you guys but I don’t like eating batteries but cadmium has been found – it’s the same thing. I wouldn’t put it in my body by choice. I wouldn’t blend it up in a blender and make a smoothie out of it and drink it and I certainly don’t want to put it in the air and breathe it. That’s one of so many heavy metals. You’ve heard all of them, strontium, all these (unintelligible). I’m not a chemist either.
I’m an engineer and I know when you set a test limit on something, you do some experimentation; you find a limit. You don’t make up the limit. I mean, to say we come up with a health limit on something, that’s fine so, okay maybe we’re a little bit past the limit, you know, for what’s healthy for a person. First of all that’s not acceptable – that’s why we made a limit in the first place.
We didn’t say about this much, we said this much is going to have serious health effects. So I don’t even want to talk about being a little over or under the limit. Now what happens when were 200 times over the limit or 400 times over the limit? That’s crazy. That’s like playing Russian Roulette with 20 bullets in a six-round revolver. It just doesn’t make sense.
Anyway, thanks for you time. I hope that you take the issue to heart and realize that it’s probably not necessarily all of our lives but certainly your children’s lives if you have children and that kind of thing and animals and that kind of thing. It’s not just us; it’s the city that you represent. Anyway, I just wanted to take the time as a voter.
Runkle Ranch is going to built adjacent to the sodium burn pit. I don’t know if you guys know what the sodium burn pit is or was. If you did, I think you’d think twice about this. Based on my research, they took primary reactor core coolant – liquid sodium – pumped it into a pond on the back forty and just let it burn off. The resulting fallout blew in all directions and it has contaminated a wide area up there. That includes Runkle Ranch. If you found any strontium-90, cesium-137, plutonium-238, uranium-235 or any other constituents of chemicals and or rads from this property; the combination is deadly. And all you’re going to need is from three to five years from now a case retinoblastoma to be developed in this development, and I’ll be back here with that child’s mother to address you again.
Don’t make this mistake now. This cannot be undone. When you start digging this up and putting that contaminated dust into the air, you can’t undo it. You are basically re-exposing everybody to the accidents and mistakes of fifty years. And you know better. SB-990 – you supported it; you know better. The Governor knows better. He made a deal that says [Rocketdyne] can only be parkland because it is so contaminated. You cannot make this mistake and think that we’re not going to be back. I really urge to take a look at that EIR and ask for re-sampling, independent sampling and to look in the right places. Look where they know they did it.”
Simi Valley City Councilmember Barbra Williamson:
I have a question for Mrs. Walsh. An Environmental Impact Report was done, what, 2002, whenever Runkle came in front of us but. And people are saying that there are flaws with that Environmental Impact Report. What makes you think that if we do another full Environmental Impact Report that we are going to get results that will be passing as far as the residents are concerned or your group?
(Walsh said 700 sodium burn pit documents released in August 2006 and is new information.)
But if it’s a new find, what’s to say if we don’t do a new Environmental Impact Report and find ‘Oh, there’s something new that we’ve just discovered’ then starting the whole thing over again?
(Walsh says a real independent EIR will find contaminants and then the city should consider making the land “open space.”)
I want to thank you for your support of SB-990. Save Open Space Santa Monica Mountains represents one thousand people in Ventura County.
You do have a legal right to ask for – you have new information of significance – you have a legal right to ask for a Supplemental EIR. Actually in the Subdivision Map Act, you have the legal right because you’re going to have to make a finding that there’s hazards here. You have a legal right to clean it up to also vote no because of the hazards you don’t want to make a Statement of Overriding Considerations.
We would like to put into the record that the environmental work on the hazards area in inadequate. In order to protect public health and safety of existing residents and new future residents, a full health risk assessment needs to be done. This new health risk assessment must analyze the Runkle property in the following areas: air toxics, soil gases, water and alluvial sampling.
All of this should be done in a full grid sampling according to EPA standards, not one sample per every two acres. That is inadequate. Potential exposure studies shall include soil, surface water, sediments, groundwater, soil gas – these people living in these homes – there could be toxic soil gas migrating up into their houses.
Unlike the past Santa Susana Field Lab testing, we want the water sampling to be done correctly. All the past testing that showed that there was no problem at Brandeis was done incorrectly using filters. They filtered out the metals and radionuclides resulting in falsely lowered [results]. And like Ahmanson Ranch, which is also in the SSFL watershed zone, contamination was found there and then the owners sold it as open space. We hope a similar situation happens here. We hope KB Homes sells it as open space to protect public health and safety.