2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 18 Apr 2003 16:48:17 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Toxics? What Toxics?
Toxics? What Toxics?
Agran and Irvineís about-face on El Toro contamination
by Anthony Pignataro

Depending on whateverís politically expedient at that moment, Irvine
Mayor Larry Agran and other city officials have espoused radically
different views on toxic contamination at the old El Toro Marine Corps
Air Station. Sometimes they say the base is an environmental nightmare;
other times itís prime park land.

In an April 6 Los Angeles Times piece, reporter Jean O. Pasco identified
a zone euphemistically called "Anomaly Area 3" that presents the first
of what could be many land-development headaches plaguing the Great
Park. It seems that part of the base is so contaminated the Navy wonít
even include it in the 3,500-acre land auction set to take place in

Area Anomaly 3 is part of an old landfill on the baseís northeastern
corner, near the intersection of Irvine Boulevard and Marine Way.
Approximately 800 feet long and 30 feet deep, the dump contains
extremely hazardous construction debris and, the Navy says, dangerous
levels of asbestos, arsenic, benzopyrene and petroleum hydrocarbons.

According to Irvineís Great Park plan, the dumpsite would be smack in
the middle of 1,100 homes. Unless Irvine wants to dump the houses and
turn the site into an Asbestos Land theme park, this presents a major
stumbling block.

But these days, Irvine officials just donít see it. To them, nothing
stands in the way of converting El Toro into a developer-friendly
collection of homes, offices, big-box retail outlets and, if thereís any
land left, parks. An anonymous city official writing on Len Kranserís El
Toro Information website asserted, "We do not see [the contaminated
dump] as a problem."

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