State Watchdog Fronts Toxic Site PR Campaign #416
May 1, 2005One Comment
Los Angeles, CA. The California Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) has quietly begun a public relations campaign on behalf and in conjunction with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) in order to win public support for completing the controversial $1/2 billion dollar Belmont Learning Complex.
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Belmont Learning Complex (recently renamed Central High #11 or Vista Hermosa) is located on a 35-acre site in downtown Los Angeles, formerly known as the Los Angeles Oil Field. The site is plagued by toxic hazards such as methane gas and hydrogen sulfide that are considered a highly dangerous threat to children, teachers and others who are exposed.
Shown on the Full Disclosure video is Hamid Saebfar, DTSC Division Chief (School Property Evaluation/Clean Up), lauding the long standing cooperation between his agency and the LAUSD. His remarks were refuted by Anthony Patchett, former Head of the Environmental Crimes Division, Office of L. A County District Attorney who also served as Chief of the Belmont investigation “Nothing could be further from the truth” he told Emmy Award winning host Leslie Dutton. Patchett went on to say DTSC has been out of the loop on Belmont since 1991. They are supposed to be a watchdog agency but instead are now promoting the LAUSD “passive” remediation plan, which in the case of volatile organic chemicals (VOC) contamination, that can never be remediated due to close proximity of groundwater.
Also, responding to the danger posed by hydrogen sulfide and earthquake faults was Dr. Debra Otis, Sr. Toxicologist for the DTSC and Dr. Kaye H. Kilburn (MD), noted author, who holds the Ralph Edgington Chair, Keck School of Medicine at USC. Dr. Kilburn commented on chemical brain injuries and described the 1992 earthquake at Long Beach and Wilmington where permanent and irreversible brain damage occurred to employees and school children who were exposed.