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Path of Los Angeles River Suggested : Raggio Seeks New Route for Pipeline

October 22, 1987|MARTHA L. WILLMAN and STEPHANIE O'NEILL | Times Staff Writers

After hearing widespread opposition to the proposed Angeles Pipeline that would run beneath city streets, Glendale officials on Wednesday said they are prepared to suggest an alternate route for the crude-oil transport system.

Glendale Councilman Carl W. Raggio said he will propose to the courts that the pipeline be built next to the Los Angeles River from its origin in the Santa Susana Mountains in the north San Fernando Valley to the Pacific Ocean at Wilmington, where a number of oil refineries are situated.

"Oil is a resource that all of us need," Raggio said. But he said the controversial pipeline route selected by the state Department of Transportation, which includes some of the busiest streets in Glendale, "would disrupt the living hell out of everything."

Turn to Courts

He said he will ask, instead, that the courts consider the river route as an alternative. "Why build a problem when we already have a solution?," asked Raggio, who is manager of design engineering at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Raggio said he will call on Glendale, Burbank and Los Angeles to form a consortium to resolve the legal battle between cities and oil companies over the proposal to build a $225-million pipeline to transport crude oil from Kern County to refineries in Los Angeles.

The three cities on Tuesday filed separate lawsuits seeking to block the project. Each of the suits challenges the adequacy of an environmental impact report on the route selected by Caltrans that would allow the pipeline, in part, to be built along Colorado Boulevard and Central Avenue next to the Glendale Galleria.

The impact report reported that the project would be built "through primarily industrial sections of Burbank and Glendale." In an angry letter sent last month to Chevron, one of the oil companies proposing the pipeline, Glendale Councilman Jerold F. Milner called the report's findings "an out-and-out lie."

Milner wrote that the route selected "is stupid." He told Allen F. Swanson, a spokesman for a consortium of oil companies: "We're willing to grit our teeth and participate where necessary, but to have you go out of your way to go through our commercial area and then lie about it is totally unacceptable."

'Wrong Way to Go'

Raggio said the route selected by Caltrans and the U. S. Forest Service, the two lead government agencies on the project, "is the wrong way to go." He said Glendale will ask Los Angeles Superior Court to appoint a consortium of 12 agencies, including the three cities, to determine the best route for the pipeline.

Raggio said the proposal to use the Los Angeles River flood control right of way "is the safest and least risky." He said permission to use the route would be required from only one agency--the Los Angeles County Flood Control District.

He also said that the danger of a pipeline break in the event of an earthquake or other disaster could be minimized because a crude oil leak could be confined to the flood channel, where it could be blocked and cleaned up.

Raggio also pointed out that the terminus of the Los Angeles River channel is next to the refineries in Wilmington.

"The next step is up to the courts," Raggio said. "I think that, maybe, we can solve the problems."

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