Grassroots Coalition's Response to CCC Item 16c and 17a Report & Exhibits (No. 1 of 4 emails from GC/McPherson)
From: Patricia McPhersonSubject: Grassroots Coalition's Response to CCC Item 16c and 17a Report & Exhibits ( No. 1 of 4 emails from GC/McPherson)Date: August 6, 2020 at 2:51:56 PM PDTAugust 6, 2020California Coastal Commission submitted electronically as 4 Emails. (1) Response to Staff Report; (2) GC Response to Exhibit 2; (3) GC Response to Exhibit 10; (4) GC DECLARATION
RE: Application to Remove Unpermitted Drains in BWER
Request for Permit Amendment
App. No. 5-18-0554
Permit No. 5-17-0253-A1
August 12, 2020 Meeting Agenda Items 16 c, 17 a
Honorable Coastal Commissioners,Please consider this Grassroots Coalition’s Opposition Response to the California Coastal Commission (1) Staff Report, with separate responses included for:
(2) Exhibit 2; and (3) Exhibit 10; with (4) GC/ McPherson Declaration , for August 12, 2020 Meeting Agenda Items 16c, 17a.Grassroots Coalition opposes CDP Application No. 5-18-0554.Grassroots Coalition opposes Application No.: 5-17-0253-A1Opposition to these Applications is contained in Todd Cardiff, Esq. Comments on behalf of Grassroots Coalition in a separate e-mail from T. Cardiff Esq.Grassroots Coalition (GC) strongly objects to CDFW’s attempt to change the terms of its permit and align the removal with its proposed restoration/bulldozing of the Ballona Wetlands. GC has been following the EIR and process very closely. Such suggestion improperly assumes that the restoration/bulldozing will be moving forward, which is a violation of CEQA. Likewise, CCC Staff comments in these Applications also prematurely supports the CDFW Plan as though it is already certified and already approved by the Coastal Commissioners. CDFW has not certified the EIR and must revise significant portions of the EIR before it is even re-circulated to the public. In addition, the Army Corp of Engineers has not approved the dredge and fill permit, nor certified an Environmental Impact Statement. Even if CDFW certified the EIR with its artificially limited scope of alternatives, Grassroots Coalition, along with many other environmental groups, has already committed to challenging such EIR in court. Grassroots Coalition will do its utmost to ensure that the Ballona Wetlands Bulldozer Restoration project will not proceed in the next 5, 10, or 20 years.
GC also has significant concerns with the actions of Staff on this case. Grassroots Coalition had to expend its own resources to enforce the Coastal Act because the Coastal Commission would or could not compel CDFW to comply with the Coastal Act. At the initial hearing, Coastal Commission Staff discounted Grassroots Coalition’s concerns about the presence of methane in the pipes and the danger that welding operations may result in a fire or explosion. CDFW then claimed it opted for a non-welding option for sealing the pipes, out of concern for combustible plant material. Because of the denial of the potential for methane, and the failure to include information of the hydraulic tidal action in the Drains, Coastal Commission staff failed to analyze the method of sealing of the pipe. CDFW permitted the use of Sikudur 31 Hi-Mod Gel which according to a Sikadur technical representative, should not have been considered for use in sealing the drains due to all the variables of being underwater with exposure to tidal hydraulics with or without mechanical fasteners, and the potential of ongoing methane gas invasion at 20psi. Now that the epoxy has predictably failed, CDFW again wishes reseal the pipe with epoxy. Further, despite direct evidence of methane, neither CDFW nor Coastal Commission Staff is taking such threat seriously.
This case also destroys the Public’s confidence in the Coastal Commission staff. The failure to issue a CDP that corresponded with Coastal Commissions December 14, 2017 vote that removed the option to apply to abandon the unpermitted drains in place was not an “error” or “mistake” was a direct act in defiance. This is clear by the fact that such error was repeatedly brought to Coastal Commissions staff’s attention. The Coastal Commission Staff repeatedly delayed bringing the issue before the Coastal Commission for correction, so that when the improperly worded CDP was finally brought before the Coastal Commission, Staff still tried to claim that the Coastal Commission’s intent was not clear. Coastal Commission Staff finally acted to correct the CDP when Grassroots Coalition sent a Notice of Intent to Sue, if abandonment was not removed as an option. Despite finally issuing a corrected CDP on March 14, 2019, Staff made it clear that it would present the application for abandonment as a “co-equal option”. Further, both CDFW (with Coastal Staff’s blessing and support) has submitted a request to change the timelines for removal to 5 years. Coastal Commission Staff has acted in direct contravention to the December 14, 2017 vote of the Coastal CommissionEXHIBITS & DECLARATION RESPONSE BY GRASSROOTS COALITION:Please also consider Grassroots Coalition's responses to Exhibit 2, Habitat Impacts Related to Unpermitted Drains in Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve dated July 23, 2020, prepared by Jonna Engel, PhD, attached as Exhibit 2 to the Staff Report.2. Grassroots Coalitions Response to Exhibit 2 is on a separate email to California Coastal Commission due to electronic size.Please also consider our responses to Exhibit 10, CDFW Methane Memo Regarding South Drain Leakage, dated July 17, 2020, attached as Exhibit 10 to the Staff Report.3. Grassroots Coalition’s Response to Exhibit 10 is on a separate email to California Coastal Commission due to electronic size.4. Please also consider Grassroots Coalition’s President-Patricia McPherson’s DECLARATION with attachments included with the DECLARATION on a separate email due to size of attachments.Additional Attachments referenced for Grassroots Coalition’s Responses to Staff Report Exhibits 2 and 10 are attached below:a.. Grassroots Coalition Response Exhibit for CDFW Methane Memo Regarding South Drain Leakage, dated July 17, 2020 Exhibit 10b.. rassroots Coalition Response Exhibit for- -Jonna Engel “Habitat Impacts Related to Unpermitted Drains in BWER” dated July 23, 2020 as Exhibit 2a. Email discussing AGENCY ENGAGEMENT PERTAINING TO REABANDOMENT OF UNIVERSITY CITY SYNDICATE in the Freshwater Marsh.
b. Psomas, Crehan email to CDFW/Bay Foundation persons
Thank you, in advance, for reviewing these materials in detail in anticipation of the upcoming hearing on these critically important issues,Patricia McPherson, Grassroots Coalition
Grassroots Coalition's Response to CCC Item 16c and 17a Report & Exhibits - 28 Pages (No. 2 of 4 emails from GC/McPherson)
Grassroots Coalition's Response to CCC Item 16c and 17a Report & Exhibits ( No. 3 of 4 emails from GC/McPherson)
Honorable Commissioners and Staff,
1. Transcript 12/14/20172. Notice of Intent to Sue3. CCC letter to CDF (NOI 5-18-0554)4. Coffin Video of Gas Bubbling5. McPherson Testing Video6.MSDS for Sikadur7. Psomas/Crehan email to CDFW/Bay Foundation personnel per Drains outflow of Ballona Channel water.Exhibit 5. Volatile gas presence demoExhibit 4. Coffin Video of Gas Bubbling