This location has been a thorn in the side of the community for decades. For more than 25 years it was operated as a hazardous waste transfer station by Ecology Controls Industries, who during that time had questionable handling practices. Prior to this company the location was a chemical storage facility that during its operation in the 50’s had one particular incident that caused a 10,000 gallon tank full of toluene to leak out overnight requiring remediation measures to be taken.
In 2015, an interested buyer, Warmington Residential, had plans to put new townhomes on this site. Concerns were raised about the characterization of the contaminants onsite and lack of transparency on the portion of the site under Superfund Authority. Then the Warmington proposal, and now the current Bridge proposal, is to build another warehouse in the area (this one with 21 truck bays).
This project seeks to bypass the very clear clean-up process laid out in statue under the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) of 1986. We have attached our most recent letter to EPA, dated June 14, 2018, stating our concerns in Appendix A. Their response: EPA is not ready to remediate this piece of the Montrose Superfund site; it is not a priority for them. Furthermore, they stated that the proposed warehouse would not interfere with their future site work. Of course not, because their plan is to continue to cap the waste in place for future generations to deal with. The longer cleanup is postponed the better for the polluters, money in their pockets. In their efforts to prolong all clean up attempts the responsible parties spend most of their time in court suing EPA. Their goal is to do as little as possible to clean up the TOXIC MESS they made.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency issued a perspective purchasers agreement to Bridge Development for this site. On June 14, 2018 the Del Amo Action Committee sent a letter to the US EPA stating concerns about the current cleanup process. They appear to be violating established guidance in the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the property seems to be on a development fast track bypassing much of the community involvement process. The full letter can be found in the Appendix B.
The neighborhoods adjacent to this site have been under siege from trucks coming and going and banging around for more than two decades. The proposed warehouse would continue the long standing incompatible use of this property. It is time for change. This is a legacy toxic site that the community has been engaged with and often leading the discussion about its cleanup for too many generations already. Those impacted by the development of this site are being shut out of the process. Their viewpoint is the only chance to reverse incompatible land use decisions. If no change is made and we continue on the current path our community will forever remain poisoned and our problematic health conditions like Asthma will get so much worse. On November 25, 2019 the California Air Resources Board provided comments on the Initial Study – Mitigated Negative Declaration for this project which can be found in Appendix A. Among the concerns cited are the additional air pollution impacts from this project and they called for a full Environmental Impact Report (EIR).
This property is in an “Industrial Flex Zone” and has been identified as an area in transition by the County in its General Plan. This property is also in an “Opportunity Zone”. We hope this creates the opportunity that will lead to changes being made to enhance the health and well-being of the surrounding historical housing stock and multi-generational families.