Talking Points on Playa Vista / Appellate Decision

Talking Points on Playa Vista / Appellate Decision

Playa Vista's 6 most misleading and erroneous statements
about a site that is uniquely dangerous and unpredictable:

1. Methane is prevalent throughout Southern California.

Reply: Experts have called the Playa Vista site the largest oil field gas seepage area in the country. No other such densely populated area in the United States neighbors an active oil and gas storage field underneath and adjacent to it.

2. Playa Vista is among the most studied projects in the history of Los Angeles.

Reply: Playa Vista is among the most improperly studied projects in the history of Los Angeles. Government agency personnel and oilfield gas experts are speaking out about the improper and inadequate studies performed on-site.

3. The City, the courts and every other government agency with oversight of Playa Vista's methane systems have concluded the methane systems are working well and the people who live and work in the community are safe.

Reply: Government agencies have expressed concern over the lack of proper testing at Playa Vista and the failure of Playa Vista and the City to provide them with any proof of safety system efficacy. The Appellate Court, in reversing the decision of the lower court, also found numerous Playa Vista and City statements to be misleading and erroneous.

4. The systems in place provide multi-tiered protection; they are the foundation upon which the City of Los Angeles created its new Citywide Methane Ordinance in 2004.

Reply: The City has failed to provide state agency requested proof that the safety system works. The new City Wide Methane Code was put into question by the Appellate Court decision October 26, 2005 because it has the same deficiencies as the Playa Vista methane code.

5. Playa Vista is an award-winning project providing housing to thousands of families. We are proud of the community being created at Playa Vista.

Reply: Playa Vista was one of the most heavily lobbied projects in LA history. The Los Angeles Unified School District turned down a free site at Playa Vista due to concerns of methane and toxins. Should your family live at a site that was rejected for a school?

6. The [court] ruling on dewatering pertains to technical legal issues, it is not about safety.

Reply: Playa Vista attempts to marginalize the appellate court ruling, when in fact dewatering and subsidence create fundamental health and safety issues. Whether they can keep the gas pipes free from clogging and thus failing is questionable. Dewatering can cause subsidence especially in marsh soils, causing physical damage to structures. Dewatering can alter & damage the delicate & beneficial water table of the wetland A draw down from subsidence can cause saltwater intrusion or spread the existing Howard Hughes industrial toxic plume as happened in the 1990ís when the City did only short-term dewatering during construction of a sewer.

On October 26, 2005, the Appellate Court ruled unanimously to overturn the Superior Court's approval of the methane mitigation measures at Playa Vista. They said the City of Los Angeles and Playa Vista never addressed the negative effects of dewatering upon the environment and must now do so.

Prepared and distributed as a public service by Grassroots Coalition.

Grassroots Coalition
For Full Disclosure of Public Health & Safety Issues
11924 W. Washington Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90066
Fax 310-737-1030

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