It is important for the public and Coastal Commissioners to be informed regarding Permit 5-17-0253 as well as informed regarding any potential future bond money allocations; Environmental Impact Reports (EIR) & federal Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) TO INCLUDE notice and verifiable explanations of the violations of the Coastal Act by the California Dept. of Fish & Wildlife upon Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve.
While both CDFW and Playa Capital LLC are Violators of the Coastal Act, CDFW’s role is to serve the public and the environment.
Playa Capital LLC/Brookfield are Playa Vista developers and utilize their contractors to fulfill their obligations to the Playa Vista development. The questionable ‘gifting’ of services by Playa Capital LLC/ Brookfield contractors - including Psomas and CDM Smith, to the Applicant- CDFW appears as Conflict of Interest and as a biased influence upon CDFW and ultimately the Coastal Commissioners when CCC Staff only provide Staff Reports that include the controversial ‘donations' of opinion.
1. The current Draft EIR/S provides no information regarding the Playa Capital LLC/Brookfield / CDFW illegal drains and no independent hydrological studies have occurred to determine the extent of harm occurred and/or restoration needed per the draining of Ballona Wetlands via the Unpermitted Drains over the prior 20 plus years.
2. Commissioners, at the December 2017 hearing on the matter of the Unpermitted Drains, were provided false and misleading information via CCC Staff Reports and testimony from CCC Staff and Playa Capital llc/Brookfield contractors to the effect that the Unpermitted Drains were made known via the DEIR/S. They were not.
3. Commissioners were also provided false and misleading information by CCC Staff via the Staff Report’s exclusion of key oilfield gas data provided to them by GC regarding oilfield gas hazards of the site. Playa Capital LLC/Brookfield contractors provided false and misleading data to Staff and the Commissioners. Newly garnered PRA responses from CDFW reveal Playa Vista attorney, leadership and contractors discussion of diverting from the fire/welding methodology to cap the wells -- as described to Coastal Commissioners in December 2017 -- to instead, an epoxy/cement fix due to methane concerns.
During the December 2017 hearing, Grassroots Coalition and others provided warning regarding known oilfield gas hazards at Ballona to which both CDFW and Playa Vista contractors marginalized as nonexistent per posing any problems. CCC Staff provided Commissioners and the public only the Playa Vista contractors version of gas issues at the site—namely that none such existed. Meanwhile GC had already provided data to CCC Staff of potentially very hazardous working conditions within the Ballona environs that have been scientifically documented and are documented by Playa Capital LLC monitors during archeological studies and in construction documents provided by Playa Capital LLC to the City of Los Angeles.
5. The CCC Staff choice of what to tell Commissioners and the public, as well as the CDFW denial of both outgassing hazards and inaccurate denials of rainwater drainage occurring via the Unpermitted Drains, is demonstrative of how virtually all Ballona issues are being (mis)managed by CCC Staff per Permit 5-17-0253 and how CDFW has failed to act as the Permittee and adhere to the Conditions of their Permit.
6. CDFW and CCC Staff, are arguably acting as advocates for a private business (Playa Capital LLC/Brookfield) rather than acting in good faith on behalf of the public and the environment to which their jobs demand allegiance.
7. CDFW, and CCC after Public Record Act requests, have provided no documents of contracts with anyone for ‘capping the drains’, no contracts for ‘monitoring the capping of the drains’. Neither Playa Capital LLC nor Brookfield signed affidavits of acceptance of the terms and agreements to Permit 5-17-0253, per GC’s PRA responses from the Commission and yet, CDFW/Playa Capital LLC/Brookfield & contractors/CCC Staff discuss ‘capping of the unpermitted drains’ by Brookfield vendors/contractors. There is thus far, per negligible PRA responses from both CDFW and the CCC Staff, no evidence to determine exactly what occurred on Ballona to ‘cap the drains’ and no monitoring data (per SPECIAL CONDITION 1.—Biological Monitor) or information has been provided.
8. Additionally, the Clean Water Act issues of the unpermitted drains acting as non permitted conduits for Ballona Channel waters intrusion into Ballona Wetlands via the unpermitted drains also remains as unaddressed by CCC Staff despite Playa Capital LLC’s contractor admittance of this in emails and in announcements made by the Ballona Conservancy (Playa Vista) to CCC Staff since at least, 2004.
9. CDFW emails describe CDFW and Playa Capital LLC/Brookfield as ‘we’ and ‘our side’ as though they are one and the same. Such highly conflicted and prejudicial language speaks to a relationship that appears compromised beyond any good faith or unbiased scientific oversight for Permit 5-17-0253. The relationship between CDFW and Playa Capital LLC/Brookfield, at the very least, casts an image of unclean hands, lack of good faith regarding Ballona’s restoration.
10. Public Record Act responses from both the California Coastal Commission and the Ca. Dept of Fish & Wildlife reveal what appears to be both the CCC staff and CDFW acting as advocates and proponents of the Playa Vista development by way of non-adherence to Permit 5-17-0253 Conditions.
11. The California Coastal Commission Permit process appears to have fallen short of tracking the progress of Permit 5-17-0253 (capping and removal of unpermitted drains in Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve as Staff have not garnered affidavits from the assignees of the work—namely Playa Vista’s Playa Capital LLC & Brookfield and/or the monitor of the site (if any exists), that would fulfill Permit Condition #4.
Namely, there are no affidavits of the assigned entity(ies) performing the actual work of capping the drains and monitoring that would demonstrate their acceptance and agreement to the terms of the CDP 5-17-0263 as required by Permit Condition #4.
12. No work contracts, schedule, plan, schematic or other substantive documentation of what occurred in the development (Section 30106) ‘capping of the drains’ exists as responsive documents per GC’s and others PRA requests for any/all contracts or other work product in connection with the ‘capping of the drains’ Permit 5-17-0253.
13. No evidence or record of MONITORING apparently exists as no contracts, imagery or other evidence has been provided, as requested by GC and others, that show anyone was monitoring Ballona Wetlands during the ‘capping of the drains.” Special Condition #1 appears to have been violated.
14. The emails below are pertaining to Grassroots Coalition’s PRAs of 1) 2/14/18 and 2) 2/27/18.
The response to the 2/14/18 PRA from the CCC is that there are no responsive documents.
The lack of responsive documents reveals that no affidavit as is required in #4. of the Permit 5-17-0253 exists. Playa Vista’s contractors, according to the CDFW emails below, worked in the Coastal Zone and worked upon the unpermitted Drains, at least as shown in the accompanying photos.
However, no other entity other than the permitted entity was approved for performing the work on the unpermitted drains, unless Condition #4 was met according to the Permit. Condition #4 was allegedly not met since no affidavit was filed with the Commission to fulfill Condition #4.
Standard Condition #4.
"Assignment. The permit may be assigned to any qualified person, provided assignee files with the Commission an affidavit accepting all terms and conditions of the permit."
15. Breech of Permit
CCC staff and CDFW staff provide at least, the appearance -- of failure to act independently on behalf of the public’s interest within Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve.
Both CCC and CDFW appear to advocate on behalf of a third party - Playa Capital LLC/Brookfield (Playa Vista developers) rather than perform their duties on behalf of the public and the environment.
Please provide response to this REQUEST and consider this LETTER as part of GC’s exhaustion of its administrative remedy.
Thank you for your time spent in review of these matters of great public concern,
Patricia McPherson, Grassroots Coalition