Thursday, September 26, 2013

Taylor Yard: Dust Storm Again

Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 26, 2013, 10:49 AM.*  This morning, Santa Ana winds kicked up an Arizona-style dust storm from the housing development going up on Taylor Yard.  Once again, we hope they did the soil remediation right on the former Superfund site.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 26, 2013, 9:56 AM.  Although the photos don't appear as bad as it was in reality, the cloud of dust was thick and spread over Elysian Valley and Cypress Park. I called City Councilmember Gil Cedillo's staff & sent a photo saying they needed to shut down grading operations immediately according to the city standard conditions of approval for grading & earth moving during high winds. 
Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 26, 2013, 9:54 AM.  The cloud of dust stretched from development all the way to the Metrolink building near the Confluence, at the south end of the rail yard.  (Again, the dust did not read well in the photos, but at least 3 neighbors witnessed it with me.)  At one point, the wind shifted & the dirt drifted over Sotomayor High School, north of the development site, & even reached my house.  There are 9 schools within a one mile radius of the site.

I talked to Jose Rodriguez from Councilmember Cedillo's staff who contacted the developer regarding the dust storm.  The developer said he would get water trucks out there.  An hour later the dust storm was getting worse (top photo) when Conrado Terrazas (also from Cedillo's staff) called to follow up with me.  I said, "Let's put it this way, I can't see parts of Cypress Park right now."  While discussing what I'd seen over the past few days, I also noted the water truck had finally shown up.   Within an hour they got the dust under control.   
Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 24, 2013, 9:23 AM.  Two days ago, several neighbors & I noticed a construction vehicle that kept driving at high speeds up & down the length of the yard kicking up plumes of dirt as high at 60' in the air (taller than the newly constructed buildings & dwarfing the Metrolink trains).  They don't seem to be controlling the dust on the ingress/egress to San Fernando very well either, as evidenced by this photo. 

Thanks to City Councilmember Cedillo's staff for immediately responding to this important health issue for the community.  However, it brings up questions as to how unhealthy is this dirt to breathe?  Taylor Yard was a majorly toxic Superfund site.  Should schools be notified to keep children inside during these events?  This is not the first time this has happened with this development.  This developer should be held accountable. 

*Note: Top photo pixilated strangely, it was shot with my phone.