2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 29 Apr 2003 15:07:05 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Cleanup ordered for Wyle Laboratories
Cleanup ordered for Wyle Laboratories
April 25, 2003

NORCO  Standing in an upper bedroom of her home, T.J. Kawana and her
two youngest sons waited for an explosion.

Kawana opened the window and ripped down the pleated paper blinds she'd
taped up to cover it.

Her son Quaid, 4, climbed all over the furniture.

"Sounds like bombs," the boy said.

The Kawanas live across a fence from 429 acres of open, scrubby hills
land owned by a military and industrial testing company called Wyle
Laboratories. From their bedroom windows, the family can see a few
buildings in a valley, what looks like a tunnel boring into a hill,
occasionally a jeep trailing a dust cloud along a winding service road.

The booms they heard came from Wyle. Tucked in its valley, the lab tests
how components of everything from missiles to telecommunications react
to heat, cold or shaking.

The lab has become a flashpoint of environmental and development debate.
Contaminants have been measured in Wyle's groundwater and removed from
its soil, although Wyle denies its activities could hurt anyone.

Some residents of the Kawanas' neighborhood, south of Wyle, believe
otherwise. They say developers hid from them what the testing facility
does and what contaminants it has allowed to seep into the soil and

Others have criticized whistle-blowers for potentially hurting their
property values.

After more than four years of monitoring the site, the Santa Ana
Regional Water Quality Control Board said Friday it will formally call
on Wyle next week to clean up the contamination on its property.

Activists say it's about time.

Cause for cleanup Wyle managers maintain they've tried to be good
neighbors, never knowingly endangering residents close to them.

But development has crept close since the lab moved into Norco in 1957.
First, simple ranch-style houses clustered in the flatland, but now
two-story villas line the hills.

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