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'New Problems for Playa Vista'

November 22, 1987

The recent article, "Containment Poses New Problems for Playa Vista Complex" (Metro, Nov. 8), failed to mention several important facts. The soil and groundwater contamination at Playa Vista is confined to a limited area of the property, and a remediation program is well under way. The following points are important to the public's full understanding of this matter.

--There is no threat to public health or safety. The soil and groundwater contamination is confined to a portion of the Playa Vista property and does not threaten the nearest drinking water supply well which is five miles away. The groundwater is not suitable nor planned for use in irrigation.

--Operations contributing to the contamination have been fully eliminated or corrected. Most of the contamination resulted from historic, routine plant operations which ended years ago. The rest of the operations were terminated when the contamination problem came to light.

--There is no past, present or future impact to the Coastal Zone, including the wetlands. Groundwater under the site flows west to east and tests done in a wide radius show that the contamination is confined to the property east of Lincoln Boulevard, south of Jefferson Boulevard and west of Centinela Avenue.

--The mitigation plan has been concurred with and approved for implementation by the Regional Water Control Board, the lead agency. Clean-up efforts have already begun under permit by the City of Los Angeles.

--As the development of Playa Vista proceeds, future environmental impact reports will address fully the mitigation program. Future development will be in compliance with all environmental laws and regulations to ensure that there is no threat to public health or safety.

--The mitigation program should not result in any delay to the development of the property.

--The soils and groundwater contamination of the site have been a matter of public record since early 1985. All appropriate public agencies, including the City of Los Angeles, were alerted.

--Compliance has been fully voluntary, the company has not been cited by any public agency. From the time the issue was first discovered, the company has voluntarily gone to great lengths to implement extensive testing to determine the full extent of the situation and develop a mitigation plan that will solve the problem in the most prompt and prudent manner.

N. DAVID O'MALLEY

Executive Vice President

Howard Hughes Properties

Los Angeles

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