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Deukmejian and Toxic Wastes

February 18, 1986

Didn't Gov. George Deukmejian learn anything from the past disaster that struck his native state of New York?

Occidental Petroleum's malfeasance in New York's Love Canal caused toxic chemicals to leach into residential neighborhoods, wreaking havoc on families' homes.

Now Deukmejian is inviting a repeat performance in Monterey Park by waiving aside environmental protective measures.

The tale of these two cities are akin, grounded in the fact that both government entities had prior knowledge that hazardous chemicals could fly in the face of future developers.

Similarly, Deukmejian, with his Cyclops dollar-sign vision, sees only monetary benefits to be gained from taking risks with the public's health and safety.

Once again another landmark case, Monterey Park, rests in the Environmental Protection Agency's lap. From their past experience of suing Oxy for $45 million "to reimburse federal agencies for cleaning up Love Canal and relocating residents of the Niagara Falls, N.Y. landfill area," the EPA should deny Deukmejian and his friends from sicking on us another toxic dump sale. Families do not want another Occidental Petroleum catastrophe coming back to haunt their children.

Public trust is at stake here. people have witnessed political wheeling and dealing in permit construction exemptions that have caused families to suffer form the backlash of these carcinogenic wastelands.

The EPA, as a nonpartisan watchdog, should strive for a higher standard of care. By calling foul play in Monterey Park, the federal umpires can prevent that environmental issue from being kicked around in another political football scrummage.

ELIZABETH MORTIMER

Los Angeles

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