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Environmental Groups Demand Delay In OVOV Approval

khts_citymatters_scvlogoThree environmental groups have demanded the Santa Clarita City Council delay tonight's expected approval of the One Valley One Vision General Plan (OVOV) after ammonium perchlorate was found in a well near City Hall.

 

In a joint press release the leaders of the Santa Clarita Sierra Club, the Santa Clarita Organization for Planning and the Environment (SCOPE) and Friends of the Santa Clara River warned of the potential health risk to the city.


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“As a medical doctor, I am concerned about the health of our children. This pollutant affects thyroid function and can cause retardation in our most sensitive populations - fetuses, infants, children, and those with immune diseases,” said Dave Morrow of the Sierra Club. “The City must slow down and make sure the health of the community is protected.”

According to the city, the purpose of the OVOV is defined as follows:

“OVOV serves as a foundation for making land use decisions based on goals and policies related to land use, transportation, population growth and distribution, open space, resource preservation and utilization, air and water quality, noise impacts, public safety, infrastructure, and other related physical, social, and economic factors.”

One environmental group has emphasized the city’s responsibility for water quality and public safety.

“Many goals and policies in the new OVOV plan call for the protection of public health,” said Lynne Plambeck, from SCOPE. “If the Council is really serious about protecting our health, the must delay the plan.”

The press release notes “the closure of Valencia Water Well V201, a Saugus Aquifer well, due to tests for ammonium perchlorate at levels from 5 to 12 ppb since last August when it was first detected.”

The environmental groups believe that closure of the well indicates the further spread of the Whittaker-Bermite perchlorate pollution plume in a westerly direction and at a faster pace than previously anticipated.

“Continued pumping of the Saugus Aquifer could draw the pollution plume even further, resulting in greater pollution of this water source.,” said Ron Bottorff, from Friends of the Santa Clara River. “The City must take a serious look at this information and how it will affect water supply.”

Jason Smisko, City Senior Planner, who will be presenting the OVOV to the city council, addressed their concerns.

“There’s a role of OVOV in this process, and then there’s the role of other environmental documents in this process, and it may make more sense that other environmental documents such as the EIR for the project, or documents from DTSC (California Department of Toxic Substances Control). Those might make more sense to deal with and react to issues on the Whittaker-Bermite site, than a general plan which is really about forward thinking and policy responding to growth, a vision and a blueprint and not really designed to be about specific issues on any one property,” Smisko said.

To learn more about the Whittaker-Bermite clean up click here: http://www.dtsc.ca.gov/SiteCleanup/Projects/upload/Whitaker_Bermite_FS_Cleanup_Plan.pdf

Find out about the city’s plans for the Whittaker-Bermite site here. http://whittakerbermite.com/