Monday, December 01, 2008

Scottsdale TCE update - permit renewal? for General Dynamics

Earlier today, I took a walk near my home in south Scottsdale. During that walk, I happened to pass by a post with an 8 1/2 by 11 piece of paper attached to it. Curious, I approached it.

Turns out it was a public notice of a permit/permit renewal (it's not really made clear in the notice) for the emission of "Volatile Organic Compounds, Products of Combustion" at the General Dynamics facility at 8201 E. McDowell Rd. in Scottsdale (south side of McDowell between Hayden and Granite Reef).

TCE is a 'Volatile Organic Compound' and in fact, TCE contamination in the groundwater of south Scottsdale emanating from the GD (formerly Motorola) site is the main reason the that North Indian Bend Superfund site exists.

This notice is not an exact copy of the one posted, but the information is basically the same.

The notice calls for public comment due within 30 days of the first day of publication of the notice, which is either November 6th (the date at the top of the linked notice) or November 12th (listed as the "Public Notice Start Date").

I don't have enough information at this time to support or oppose the permit/permit renewal, so I'll contact the Maricopa County Air Quality Department tomorrow to gather more info.

However, what I found interesting was the apparent attempt to low-profile this - not only was the so-called "public posting" almost inconspicuous (I've driven by that spot dozens of times over the past few weeks and never seen the notice), the legal notice of this permit process was published in two outlets that most people in the affected area don't read, The Record Reporter (page 26 here) and the Arizona Business Gazette (couldn't locate the notice in their online archive). In addition, I haven't seen any neighborhood outreach (door hangers, etc.) from the applicant (General Dynamics) or the County on this matter.

In addition to contacting the County tomorrow and doing some research on whether or not other, more locally-oriented, community activists were aware of the permit, I'll upload some pics of the posted public notice that so piqued my interest.

This may be much ado about nothing, but one would think that in an area that is already a Superfund site, both the County and GD would show a little more concern for keeping the residents in the area more "in the loop" instead of trying to sneak this past people while they are preoccupied with the aftermath of the November elections and preparations for the holiday season.

After all, it's only been a year since the contentious meeting of the NIBW's Community Involvement Group when attendees were informed of a failure at one of the treatment facilities (which upset people) and that Arizona American Water took a month to start telling people about it (which really pissed off people).

More tomorrow...
Edit on 12/2 to add pics...
The pic at the top of the post is a close up of the public notice. Click on it to make it readable.
These pics illustrate why I thought the notice was almost totally inconspicuous.
From a few feet away at normal magnification, this is the notice at the SE corner of McDowell and 82nd Pl. in Scottsdale.
The above pic was taken at 4X mag, from the SW corner of the intersection.
This pic is of a City of Scottsdale public notice situation on the NW corner of the same intersection, taken from the SW corner at 4X magnification.
After speaking to a couple of people at the Maricopa County Air Quality Department, it seems that the posting of the public notice of the permit renewal/revision is well within the rules.
Legal, but borderline useless.
Also according to those same folks, the requested revisions to the permit are minor, and based on what was described to me over the phone, they are minor. However, I will probably be in downtown Phoenix on Wednesday, and if I have time, I'll stop by their office and look at the actual docs. I'll have to if I want a look - the docs aren't online. :((
More tomorrow!
End edit...


Devawn said...

TCE is toxic poison, whether you breathe it, drink it, bathe in it - or in the case of those of us who grew up attending Hohokam Elementary in the '60's and '70's all three - it will change your health and shorten your life.

Ask Jamey Watt at EPA, he is the site manager, why this has not been made known to the Community Involvement Group for the NIBW. He's at (415) 972-3175. Call Congressman Mitchell's office in Scottsdale, ask for Reed (480) 946-2411. ADVOCATE FOR YOURSELVES AND ALL THE CHILDREN LIVING THERE.

TCE is HIGHLY TOXIC POISON - it leads to nasty diseases like Lupus, Leukemeia, brain cancer,liver and kidney cancer, nonHodgkins lymphoma, autoimmune thyroid diseases, digestive to the kids who grew up in the old Motorola neighborhood - the ones still alive. It's the biggest story of a toxic cover up yet to be told - the story of the dead and sick kids who went to Hohokam decades ago.


scott said...$FILE/Communications%20Plan%20-%20final%20-%20July%2011,%202007.pdf
This is the EPA document about the communication for NIBW.
City of Scottsdale violate the rule, CIG is not noticed!!!
Act now, call city, ADEQ, EPA.