Letters to the Editor
March 9, 2017

To the Editor:
EPA Representative M.S Holly Hadlock, City Leaders and Fillmore Citizens,
I am writing you this letter in opposition to the proposed partial del-list petition to remove pacific coast pipeline superfund site here in the town of Fillmore California. I have a home no further that 30 feet from the project and have had to deal with the mess of clean up, the worry not only for those of us who have been exposed to chemicals for years unknowingly but also for the future personnel that Chevron is eager to get on that space once it is developed. And they WILL develop it. I have been on the stakeholder committee for years and have watched them lie to my face and not be forth coming with information in many situations in regards to the neighbors and community.
I will give you an example. During the cleanup, land was graded after some contaminated soil was removed. Some is still on site in boxes they say will keep it contained, as if metal doesn’t rust under soil. Well during the grading prepossess they moved soil that was part of the lower half of the hillside away from the hill and closer to the creek and closer to our homes, no further than 30 feet. It made a huge impact on the look of the hill and an eyesore for the neighbors. I was told by Leslie that it was needed for drainage purposes that were required by the county because no water was allowed to leave the site without being treated first. My first thought was darn it, I get to look at that! Oh well. Months later when my husband looked at it and pulled information on it he told me that it was actually a building pad. Yes he is an engineer so he knows what he is taking about. When I asked Leslie about this she said that yes it was a building pad and the plans were to build buildings on the entire site. After hearing all the information that would only come out a little bit at a time over many moths/years of meetings, it was clear that the plan was to build an industrial/business park in Fillmore right behind these home where no one wants them. In some areas the buildings would be level with the homes but in my location the building pad is 30 feet above my home and the building they propose could be not only one story but two stories high above my home. Drainage my foot!
Example two continues on from the drainage issue. I was told earlier that the county would not allow water to leave the site during cleanup and flow into pole creek next to the site and then drain into the Santa Clara River that feeds into many water resources through the county and towards the ocean, well it did just that during one March rain storm. Being married to an engineer our family drives throughout Fillmore during storms and we look at drainage devices to see what works and what does not. We look at streets, walkways, gutters creeks and rivers. We happened to finish the day looking at the catch basin at the end of pole creek just south of the superfund site. I decided to look up the channel of pole creek to see how full it was and was horrified to see the water FLOWING off the site. Yes I did take a picture of it. Knowing that I would be in a superfund meeting later that next week. I asked what would happen if the water did go off site in that kind of situation and I was FIRMLY told by Bill that “It would not happen”! They were not pleased when I presented the photos of just that happening. Leslie covered with, “we did see that it did happen and they caught it first thing Monday morning”. The water was flowing since Friday.
So I hope this gives you some clarification as to why I do not trust anything that Chevron tells me. They said that they were doing solar, period. Now I can see the bait and switch I figured they would do is happening. Once they are taken off the list then it will be developed and people working there for many hours a day will be exposed to the chemicals still in the water and the soil buried there. I asked during a meeting if it was developed would they (Chevron) post signage notifying workers or people coming to the site of the superfund status and their risk from long exposures to the site and they said no, that would be up the leaser or managers of the different establishments/businesses. Chevron has NO regard for our community but only for making money off a poor piece of land that is in a junky location only to be a further burden on the close proximity of residential and elementary school neighbors. No! Do not remove them partially from the superfund list for surface soils now or ever.
The public deserves to know what has gone on at that site in the past to protect themselves and their posterity from harmful heath issues in the future and at least have the choice to say no I value my health more than to visit or work on this site. I fear that once you allow this change of superfund status to happen and they “clean up” the water then they will ask to be taken off the list completely. This would open the door for them to build not only the restricted things they currently are allowed to but it would remove their current restrictions and would allow homes, schools, hospitals, hotels all which are not allowed currently due to the fact of long exposure to the chemicals still left on site. It makes a person wonder how clean is it? Family’s would garden in these homes and eat food produced from this soil. Students would roll in the dirt and study for many hours on this site. There is a reason prop.65 was established, to let people know that they are at risk of exposure to cancer causing chemicals and have to choice as to how they will act on the information, and you are asking to have the Chevron superfund site be taken off a list that would give people some sort of warning as to what they are getting into, sorry I cannot be part of that kind of deceit.
Our committee left our last meeting with the understanding that solar was what was going to be installed on the superfund site so the least amount of personal would be exposed and the least amount of issues would impact the neighbors. I figured it was a win-win since they could get a good pat on the back for going in a green direction, nope it appears that is not the ultimate plan after all. The Fillmore works web site states that solar is the best option “for now”. In the email letter I received from Monte and from Leslie this next section is what led me to this conclusion, “waiting until the entire site is eligible for delisting can be a barrier to productive uses that benefit communities because of the “stigma” associated with superfund sites”.
Again, I do not support the partial removal from the superfund list, they need to live with the “stigma “of being a superfund site because contamination of water and soil and air IS a reality of the oil manufacturing business. Own it.
Thank you for allowing me to give my input as a committee stakeholder, homeowner and community member on this Chevron superfund site issue also known as PCPL.
Kathy Pace