Tuesday, September 30, 2014

REMINDER Public Meeting TONIGHT on Chatham Barrel Yard Cleanup 6:30pm at the Center for the Arts Escondido

Please attend and help us cleanup our Park and Neighborhood!

It’s Time for More Action on Chatham
 Residents to Request New Strategy for Cleaning up State Superfund Site
at Tuesday Meeting in Escondido

The meeting will be held, Tuesday, September 30, 2014, 6:30-9:00 pm at the California Center for the Arts Escondido, 340 N. Escondido Blvd., Escondido.

Please attend this meeting Meeting info

The Chatham Barrel Yard, located at 2257 Bernardo Avenue in southwest Escondido, is the largest site in the region contaminated with toxic chlorinated hydrocarbon pollution.  Pollution at Chatham was discovered in the 1980s and it was deemed so highly contaminated that it was designated a ‘State Superfund’ site.  Over 11,000 tons of highly toxic soil was removed from the site and a groundwater treatment system was put into operation at the site. 

However, during the past several decades, plumes of contamination from the site have migrated in groundwater over a mile from the site (see map.) Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the site have contaminated local water wells and groundwater. 

The plumes are also discharging pollution into Felicita Creek at levels that violate water quality plans.  The contaminated plumes are now under most of Felicita Park, existing homes, and farmland   In addition, the plumes are migrating to the south in the direction of Lake Hodges, a drinking water storage area.

This is a tragic situation that has not been resolved in almost 20 years of remedial action.  In spite of the significant off-yard contamination problems, no active cleanup of the plume has occurred.   Local resident Ryan Salazar stated, “We have waited long enough and I would like to see the Department of Toxic Substances require more action.  It is time to do more, before it gets worse.”    Residents will be calling for a new strategy for cleanup.

The meeting will be held, Tuesday, September 30, 2014, 6:30-9:00 pm at the California Center for the Arts Escondido, 340 N. Escondido Blvd., Escondido.

Escondido Neighbors United formed this year in response to environmental and community issues in the Escondido area.  Our mission is to advance protection of communities, protection of natural resources, ensure sustainable planning and development, secure cleanup of contamination, and support of environmental justice in the Escondido area. www.escondidoneighbors.org or follow @EscoNeighbors on Twitter.


Monday, September 29, 2014

Watch CHANNEL 10 NEWS Report on Chatham Barrel Yard Contamination

Watch this fantastic in-depth reporting on the Chatham Site.  10news Investigates Toxic Chemicals in Creek, Park, Wells  Please join Escondido Neighbors United at the Public meeting tomorrow, Sept. 30 at 6:30 pm at the Center for the Arts Escondido.  We need more Action on Chatham!!!  Thanks Channel 10 for covering this important issue!

FINAL REMINDER Oak Creek Comments due TODAY by 5pm

Please remember to file your comments to TODAY!!!

Mr. Bill Martin, Principal Planner
City of Escondido, Planning Division
201 North Broadway
Escondido, CA 92025-2798

Fax 760-839-4313   bmartin@escondido.org

Friday, September 26, 2014

Comments DUE MONDAY on Oak Creek Housing DEIR . Please comment

Just a quick reminder that MONDAY SEPT. 29TH 5 pm is the deadline for commenting on the DEIR for the Oak Creek housing development.  Please comment on any concerns you have about the project or improvements you would like to see.  ENU is also supporting a better alternative that reduces traffic, protects wildlife, reduces traffic, and is consistent with community character...Oak PARK Alternative.  Here is a link to some of our concerns and alternatives for the project.
Issues and Alternatives to Oak Creek

Please take time to read about this and comment on it.  Your Neighborhood needs your Input!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

REMINDER Candidate Forum Tonight! Come ask questions of the Escondido Candidates

I know we've had a lot of meetings lately, but this is a dynamic and critically important time in the future of our City!  A lot will be determined by the results of the next election.  Our future is hanging in the balance.  Come tonight to City Hall Council Chambers and hear from the candidates for Districts 1 and 2 and the Mayor's race.  Submit questions to be asked!!!  Here is our opportunity to get our issues the attention they need!  6pm tonight!!!!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

REMINDER Public Meeting MONDAY at 6pm on Oak Creek Housing development

Just a quick reminder about the Escondido Public Meeting tomorrow
Monday, September 22, 6 PM:  Escondido Public Meeting on Oak Creek Housing Development Draft EIR in Council Chambers, 201 North Broadway. 

 Please attend.   This is a good opportunity to learn about the project, ask questions, and provide input.  
ENU does not support the project as currently proposed.  Come and urge the city and the developers to work on a less dense alternative that is more appropriate for the area. We are hoping that improvements will be made so that the project impacts on the neighbors, future residents, and the environment will be reduced.  Please see our Action Alert here http://escondidoneighborsunited.blogspot.com/2014/09/action-alert-please-attend-public.html

Friday, September 19, 2014

Support Escondido Alliance Event September 24- 5-8PM

Escondido Alliance is a local, bi-lingual monthly newspaper focused on issues in Escondido area. They are sponsoring an event premiering a photo-documentary at the Municpal Gallery in downtown Escondido.   Event is on Sept 24th.  Check out Escondido Alliance  for more information.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Chatham Barrel Yard Fact Sheet Released, Public Meeting set

Here is a copy of the new Fact Sheet on the Chatham Barrel Yard received today from Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) Chatham 2014 Fact Sheet.
While we appreciate that DTSC states that they are directing the PRP Group to "investigate potential contaminant migration pathways from the Yard to Felicita Creek in an effort to stop or decrease the release of site contaminants to the creek", we will be calling on DTSC to direct them not only to 'investigate pathways', but to actually take action.  We now know that TCE and other contaminants have been known and measured to be discharging into Felicita Creek since 1995. Twenty years is long enough to know that we need to do more!
Further, we are very disappointed that the Fact Sheet does not show the size or the migration of the off-site plumes. Most disappointing, it does not appear that DTSC is planning to direct any additional cleanup measures to actively clean up and stop migration of the contaminated plumes as they move through our neighborhoods.
Here is a graphic we developed based on the contour maps in the record that shows the size and migration of the 10 and 100 ppb contours. Change in Chatham related plumes 1997-2014.
It is important to remember that the level is supposed to be achieved through remediation is 5 ppb for TCE and 6 ppb for PCE.  None of this contamination is supposed to be discharging into Felicita Creek.

We will have more comments on this but we wanted to make sure you all had this information.  We urge everyone to look into this issue and attend the meeting on September 30!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

ENU September Update with Key Dates and Events

Escondido Neighbors United
September 2014 Update

Hi Everyone,

We hope you are able to stay cool in the heat.  Everyone is back to school, and a lot is going on this month.  We wanted to update you on several of our projects.  If you want to share this update with others, you can find a printable copy here: ENU September Update

This month, we have been busy reviewing the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the Oak Creek project.  The public comment period will close Sept 29, so please look at the document and comment to the city.  There are several serious problems with it.  Due to the close proximity of the site to the Park, we think an expansion of Felicita Park (supported by goals in our local County Subarea plan) should be included in any adopted plan.   Further, we don’t think that homes should be put in areas where there are potential health risks to future residents,  all data on contamination should be available, and any clean up implemented before projects are reviewed or approved.   

We are proposing an alternative that includes an expanded park, healthful housing locations, reduced traffic impacts, and housing.  

We did a couple tours of the area with local residents and our County Supervisor Dave Roberts.  We discussed areas of impact and several issues facing our area.  We have produced, courtesy of our wonderful member, some graphics showing the movement of the plumes.   We have also responded to multiple media requests for information about the site so, Stay Tuned!  There is a public meeting on this topic set for September 30, 2014.  See info below.

We have collected over 200 signatures on our petition demanding More Action on Chatham!

We received a response from City Manager Clay Phillips to our recommendation on public participation.  The City also agreed to hold a public meeting on Oak Creek and requested a public meeting from DTSC on Chatham.  These are all positive steps and we appreciate them.  We still wish the city’s website was user friendly and that automatic notification would occur and we will seek a meeting with city official to discuss.

ENU continues to try to secure a ‘Priority designation’ for Felicita Creek in the San Dieguito Water Quality Improvement Plan (WQIP).  There will be another consultation committee meeting at the end of October on this issue.  We have requested a meeting with City Stormwater staff .  We will share more information on this as we receive it.

There are several opportunities for community and civic engagement this month.  

1.     Oak Creek Analysis Needs Improvement

September 22, 6 PM:  Escondido Public Meeting on Oak Creek Housing Development Draft EIR in Council Chambers, 201 North Broadway. 

This is a good opportunity to learn about the project, ask questions, and provide input.  ENU does not support the project as currently proposed.  We are hoping that improvements will be made so that the project impacts on the neighbors, future residents, and the environment will be reduced.  Please see our Action Alert here http://escondidoneighborsunited.blogspot.com/2014/09/action-alert-please-attend-public.html

2.     Talk to the Candidates: 

September 25, 6 PM:  Escondido Candidate Forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters in Council Chambers, 201 North Broadway.

A great opportunity to learn about the candidates for Mayor and City council in this critical election year. http://escondidoneighborsunited.blogspot.com/2014/09/escondido-candidates-forum.html

3.     The Future of our Neighborhood Needs Your Input!   

Monday, September 29, 5PM:  Comments due on the DEIR for Oak Creek. 

You can file electronic email or written letter with:

Mr. Bill Martin, City of Escondido, Planning Division, 201 North Broadway, Escondido, CA 92025-2798, Fax 760-839-4313   bmartin@escondido.org  

Here is the Executive Summary https://www.escondido.org/Data/Sites/1/media/pdfs/Planning/oakcreek/CD/VolI-Chapter1-ExecutiveSummary.pdf  and comment to the city on your position. 

4.     We Need More Action on Chatham!

Tuesday, Sept 30, 2014, 6:30-9:00 pm:   CHATHAM BARREL YARD PUBLIC MEETING  California Center for the Arts Escondido, 340 N. Escondido Blvd

Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and Regional Water Board will hold an informational meeting on the status of the remediation of the Chatham Barrel Yard. During the past several decades, the plumes of contamination have migrated in groundwater over a mile from the site and have contaminated local domestic water wells and groundwater.  The plumes are also discharging pollution into Felicita Creek in violation of water quality plans. 

Please join ENU in making the following requests:
·        DTSC require additional actions to actively remediate pollution in groundwater and stop discharges to Felicita Creek.
·        County designate Felicita Creek as a Priority for Action in its Water Quality Improvement Plan.
·        Post of signs in Felicita Park about the presence of pollution in the creek so that users can make informed decisions.
·        Update Health Risk Assessment to reflect new standards and conditions.
·        Create a Community Technical Review Committee that meets regularly to improve communication and understanding about contamination from the site.  

If you want to share this update with others, you can find a printable copy here: ENU September Update

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Escondido Candidates Forum Thursday,SEPTEMBER 25TH. 6-9 pm

Hear from local candidates for office in this important Escondido Candidates Forum hosted by the League of Women Voters.  Ask candidates about issues important to you.  The Forum will be held Thursday, September 25 in the Escondido City Council Chambers at 6:00. Escondido Candidate Forum Flyer  Learn more and hear from our local candidates!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

San Diego Water Board Response to Chatham recent Monitoring Report

IMPORTANT. Here is yesterday's response from the Regional Water Board to DTSC about the recent submittal on Chatham. Water Board July 10 2014 Response Letter  There is some important information in here that supports several of the comments made in our Escondido Neighbors United comment letter ENU Comment Letter on July 11, 2014 submittal.

Among many important comments, the Water Board recommends and affirms that:

  • Contamination trends are increasing in downgradient wells;
  • Site related constituents continue to discharge to Felicita Creek above water quality objectives;
  • TCE is not the only site contaminant of concern and others should be plotted;
  • Well owners with detected contamination must be notified quickly;
  • DTSC should require more investigation and evaluate actions to stop the discharge into Felicita Creek;
  • Discharges to the Creek are causing direct human and ecological exposure to site related constituents;
  • Additional wells, including near the school, should be sampled;
  • decades to centuries was not the agreed to timeframe for the remedy to work; 
  • Process of natural attenuation is not yet proved; and,
  • The Chatham PRP Group continues to be in violation of discharge prohibitions of the Basin Plan.

PLEASE REVIEW if you are interested in this site!  We remain very grateful to the Water Board's involvement in this issue and for continuing to engage and stand up for water quality in our region!
A public meeting is expected SEPTEMBER 30, 2014.  We will share more information when we receive it.

A fun thing to do: Wren Nest Box Building with the Escondido Creek Conservancy

If you're looking for a fun activity for the family, try building  a nest box for wrens.  Place near your organic garden and they will keep the insects down! Sept 21 at 3:00 pm See info here  wren-box-building-workshop 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Action Alert Please Attend Public Meeting on Oak Creek Housing Development Sept 22 6 pm

Here is an action alert about the September 22 6 pm Public Meeting on the DEIR for Oak Creek. We hope you will attend.  Please come and share your questions and views.  We appreciate the city providing this opportunity.

Escondido Neighbors United

Action Alert

Public Meeting
Oak Creek Housing Development and Annexation
Monday, September 22, 2014
6:00 pm
Escondido City Council Chambers
Escondido will hold a public meeting on the findings and comments of the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for Oak Creek.  Oak Creek is a proposal by Santa-Monica developers to build 65 homes in a gated community on existing open space and farmland adjacent to Felicita Park on the ‘duck pond’ property in a rural area.  It will annex over 40-acres to the city.

Escondido Neighbors United (ENU) has the following objections to the project.
·         New homes should not be built on contaminated or unhealthful areas for future residents.
·         New homes should not be built or permitted while area is in a major drought.
·         Project is too dense for the rural character of the area.
·         The City should not annex contaminated land.
·         Impacts to the mature native trees, creek, and habitat should be avoided.
·         Loss of over 25 acres of quality farmland.
·         New development should require state-of-the-art energy efficiency, solar, and low-impact design features to reduce stormwater pollution.
·         Flooding and traffic increases are underestimated in the DEIR.

We OPPOSE Oak Creek as proposed. 
ENU supports cleanup of the site and
use for a significant expansion of Felicita Park.
Comments are due on Sept 29, 2014 to Mr. Bill Martin, Principal Planner, City of Escondido, Planning Division, 201 North Broadway, Escondido, CA 92025-2798,Fax 760-839-4313   bmartin@escondido.org

Please join us.  Visit our Website for more information www.escondidoneighbors.org

Saturday, September 6, 2014

County Upgrades Felicita Park, ENU repeats call for Creek Cleanup

We all know that Felicita Park is a jewel in the North County.  The County agrees and celebrated significant upgrades to is for wedding and playground use in an event yesterday.  This video, featuring our own Kate Orf, tells about the upgrades. County Park Upgrade video  This commitment of the County to Felicita Park is ever more reason why the contamination issues in Felicita Creek need to be addressed and soon.  Felicita Park, and its users, deserve a safe and clean place to enjoy nature.  We continue our request for Felicita Park to be designated as a high-priority water body in the County and City's Water Quality Improvement Plan.   This is a problem we can fix and we should take action now.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Public Meeting announced on Oak Creek Draft Environmental Impact Report Sept. 22

The City has tentatively planned a public meeting for Monday evening, September 22 in the Council Chambers.  Everyone is urged to attend and put your comments on the record.
Please tell your friends and neighbors!!!!
Here is the text of the City Manager's report from August 27, 2014
Oak Creek (NUW) – The public review period for the Draft EIR is underway, with comments due on 9/29/14. The document is posted on the City’s website at the following link  http://www.escondido.org/Data/Sites/1/media/pdfs/Planning/oakcreek/CD/INDEX_-_Report_Navigatoin.pdf 
In response to requests from community members, a neighborhood meeting has been tentatively scheduled for Monday evening, 9/22/14, in the City Council Chambers to discuss the project and the findings of the Draft EIR.