I recently interviewed Councilperson Elizabeth Pearson about Village Entrance that will air on Laguna radio KX93.5 this Sunday at 8 a.m.
Pearson indicated if there were new information she might reconsider the proposed parking structure. I mentioned concern about spreading contaminants in the soil at the site by disrupting the land through construction or from natural disasters like El Nino or earthquakes. She stated this was speculative and that she would need geological information before reconsidering.
In 2001, City Council actually addressed the soils when it considered a flood control project for the downtown district. Initially, Council approved the project, but according to clean water expert Roger Butow, it reversed itself upon obtaining evidence of “an incredible gamut of carcinogenic hydrocarbon contaminants spread throughout the downtown acquifer.”
Additionally, Geofirm studied the site encountering the water table at 13-23 feet below the surface. This is important because site soils combined with the high water table can contribute to liquefaction during earthquakes with potential to spread the contaminants.
Councilperson Pearson may not have been aware of this because she was not on the council back in 2001. Hopefully, she and council will reverse course before we are all sucked into the metaphorical contamination.
Alan Boinus, Laguna Beach