According to this document, Virginia-based MicroTech, LLC, billed the VA $2,508 on March 9, 2006 “to update the environmental baseline report” with new information that would refute its own report that radioactive waste is buried beneath Brentwood School’s athletic fields. With all the emphasis former-VA Secretary Nicholson put on discounting the dump being under the school in his letter to Congressman Waxman, and with all the effort that the VA and MicroTech put into ‘updating’ the explosive revelations contained in the draft PricewaterhouseCoopers report, imagine our surprise when this paltry amount is compared to what we found MicroTech was being paid in total by the VA in documents released by Waxman: $413,669.
Following is the excerpt of Document 13 that shows MicroTech’s proposed billing of the VA for this ‘updating.’
Following the above document are a series of copied e-mails in Document 13 that indicate how worried the VA has been about our investigation, going so far as to create “A VHA [Veterans Health Administration] Issue Paper outlining how the VHA has handled face to face discussions with the reporter who originally brought up this issue.”
This VHA Issue Paper on how to deal with EnviroReporter.com’s Michael Collins was not among the 5,600+ pages of documents provided to Congressman Waxman. Ironically, in its concerted attempts to discount and dismiss the report of radioactive waste being under Brentwood School’s athletic complex, the VA’s Jessica Morris wrote “In another area of the property the VA dumped decayed low-level radioactive medical waste in the 1960’s.”
This is an important statement because it confirms, as do umpteen documents, maps, interviews and photos on EnviroReporter.com, that there was radioactive waste dumped on the West LA VA. However, as recently as a December 17, 2007 interview with the West LA VA’s Director of Asset Management, Ralph Tillman, with KCET‘s Life & Times’ reporter, Hena Cuevas, the VA maintains that it is going to spend $1 million in order to assure the public that there is no radioactive waste on the property to worry about.
This begs the question: Why spend a million on a Phase II appraisal of the dump if the VA knows nothing is there despite all evidence to the contrary?
The VA and its subcontractor’s words below speak for themselves and suggest that the spin the department is putting on its Brentwood nuke dump is as sloppy as the methods of radioactive waste disposal were that created the waste site in the first place.
The following page from Document 13 is MicroTech’s summation of the agreement between the VA and Brentwood School for it’s “Enhanced Health Care Resources Sharing Agreement, which is commenced for 10 years beginning in August 1999 with one 10-year option. It is unclear what this agreement has to do with “enhanced health care” but is notable for a number of reasons: “VA can unilaterally terminate if School has caused Government owned assets or the public to be endangered.”
Has the school caused the public to be endangered, namely its students and faculty, due to either ignoring the waste found underneath the fields that were built over anyway even after construction was halted due to so much waste present, waste that was covered up with 3-4 feet of crushed asphalt? Is the school responsible for exposing its students to extremely high levels of arsenic and thallium since, according to its contract with the VA, the school should have known about these heavy metals before completing construction of their athletic complex? Is the school responsible for endangering the public for failure to review reports it already should have had that have been available on Congressman Waxman’s website since early August 2007?
Or is the VA responsible for endangering the public by continuing to downplay the threat of radioactive and chemical contamination under the school’s athletic fields even when a number of reports have documented these threats as examined in the analysis of the documents provided to Congressman Waxman?
The questions posed here would probably be best answered by legal representatives in a court of law, something that has not happened as of this posting on December 19, 2007.