Oil Fields, Airport Noise Bother Residents
They Let City Council Know Their Feelings
November 12, 2015
By Lynne Bronstein
Culver City residents continue to appear at City Council meetings in groups to voice their discontent with two environmental issues that won't go away: the Inglewood oil field and the noise from airplane flights over the city.
At the November 9 meeting a lengthy parade of citizens spoke in public comment about these two issues.
The oil field speakers came out because of an imminent EIR (Environmental Impact Report) that the city is preparing on the impacts of the oil field. The NOP (Notice of Preparation) public comment period for the EIR was to be from October 12 to November 13, 2015. As November 9 was only three days away from the end of the comment period some speakers wanted the city to extend the public comment period.
Speakers talked about cancer risks from the field operations and voiced their strong opposition to the 100 new wells proposed to be built in the field.
One woman admitted she already had cancer and that although she could not prove that her cancer was the result of living in proximity to the oil field she had done research into the amount of pollution from oil drilling and was appalled by the toxins that were found to be in the air.
Alyssa Huang, a student at Culver City High, asked that the council "invest in an authentic health study" before approving further oil field development..She cried as she talked of how her mother died from cancer.
Heather Baker of the City Attorney's department said she was not sure how useful an extension of the NOP would be. She asked a consultant from Bon Terra Psomas, the firm doing the EIR, to talk briefly about the health safety assessment. The consultant said that the assessment was being done as part of the EIR and it was to evaluate the safety risk of contaminants from the operations in terms of cancer risks.
Further discussion of the issue was not possible during a public comment period but the council clearly has the issue in mind and more discussions will be scheduled as the EIR comes up for approval.
Some people against airplane noise had already appeared at the October 26 meeting to speak out against the assaults on their environment by low-flying planes. The anti-plane noise group at the November 9 meeting included several third grade students from Farragut Elementary who claimed that airplane noise was interfering with their homework as well as their play dates.
"I can't think during tests. And at night I can't sleep," said third grader Alison Trapnel.
Alex Oana, a professional sound engineer, told the council that he belonged to a group of fathers who were all in the movie-TV and record industries, many of whom worked at home.
"Sounds from airplanes ruin recordings in our home studios," he said.
The airplane noise issue is not an issue that can be resolved by locals, as the council has already pointed out to the protesters. Council members however, agreed that the school district should give its voice to the concern.
A meeting on November 22 with Congresswoman Karen Bass, to be held at the Culver City Teen Center, will be an opportunity to address the airplane noise issue.
In other council news, the council approved a motion to receive and file a categorical exemption report for the Culver City Municipal Fiber Network Project, making the project exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The motion also approved a Fiber Network Enterprise Fund, authorized a construction loan and a working capital loan, approved a related budget amendment appropriating $10,265,000 from the General Fund, and approved a consultant agreement for the project.