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City Officials Object to Routing for Oil Pipeline

May 14, 1987|STEPHANIE O'NEILL | Times Staff Writer

Glendale officials this week voiced objections to the proposed routing of a crude oil pipeline beneath five miles of heavily traveled city streets, calling instead for its passage through Griffith Park.

"It would have the least amount of disruption," Councilman Carl W. Raggio said of park route. "It's a straight line and that tends to make much more sense to me . . . It's less costly."

"It's less populated and fewer people would be affected," agreed Councilman Larry Zarian.

Their comments came in reaction to warnings this week from Glendale Planning Director Gerald J. Jamriska about dangers and inconveniences posed by the routing through Glendale of the proposed Angeles Crest Pipeline. Despite more than a year of opposition to various routes of the pipeline in other cities, Glendale leaders until this week had taken no position on the $225 million project.

Backed by Oil Consortium

The 30-inch-wide pipeline could carry some 330,000 barrels daily of crude oil 135 miles from the San Joaquin Valley to oil refineries near the Los Angeles harbor. A consortium of four oil companies backs the project.

Pipeline construction along the current proposed route would severely disrupt traffic, particularly along Colorado Street and a portion of Central Avenue that borders the Glendale Galleria, according to Jamriska's report. And it would prove "disastrous anytime near the holiday season," said the report. Construction is expected to last three weeks for each of the 30 affected blocks in Glendale, or about a year and a half.

City Council members postponed until next week action on a resolution against the pipeline so their support for a route through Griffith Park can be added.

Run Near Galleria

Entering Glendale from Burbank at Sonora Avenue, the pipeline would run east to San Fernando Road, travel south on San Fernando Road to Colorado Boulevard. Traveling east on Colorado along the southern border of the Glendale Galleria, the pipeline would turn south onto Central Avenue where it would join San Fernando Road again. It would continue onto Fletcher Drive and along Rowena and Hyperion avenues in Silver Lake.

The oil consortium originally proposed the park route, but changed its plans after receiving a barrage of complaints from nearby homeowners and golfers who opposed tearing up the Griffith Park course, said John Moffitt, a pipeline engineer.

However, the consortium said last week that it would prefer to switch back to the park plan, Moffitt said. Ultimately, the state Department of Transportation will choose the pipeline route. But Jamriska said that the city could block any route in its territory.

Environmental Concerns

Jamriska's report lists several environmental concerns, including the effect of potential spills on ground water and soil.

According to a draft environmental impact report (EIR) prepared by the state, an estimated three spills of about 3,600 barrels each will occur somewhere along the pipeline during 50 years. However, Jamriska's report indicated that catastrophic spills of up to 10 times that size have in the past poured from similar, existing pipelines.

The city official wrote that the pipeline should be designed to withstand a major earthquake registering 8.3 on the Richter scale--the maximum design standard applied to nuclear power plants and major dams. The state's draft EIR suggests that a lesser standard is sufficient for the pipeline.

The question is not if, but rather when, a big quake will strike, Jamriska wrote.

The city's resolution will also state that if the Griffith Park alternative is rejected, Glendale would then consider yet another alternate route along Sonora Avenue, Air Way and San Fernando Road.

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