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New Sewer Line's Lesson About Metro Rail Safety

June 28, 1992

Your story, "New Sewer Line Brings Hope for a Cleaner Ocean" (Times, June 21) was wonderful news for all Westside residents, for finally we read something good about environmental improvements. Our hats are off to Dorothy Green and Heal the Bay.

But the environmental implications of this feat go much further than sewage treatment. This major sewage tunnel had a diameter of 10 feet and was drilled through the active oil and gas field in the Baldwin Hills without incident. This proves what experts have been saying for many years: You can drill safely in the gas-riddled subsoil of Los Angeles. Why is this important to know?

It is important because the argument that it is not safe to drill though methane gas has been the one and only argument of the opponents of Metro Rail, and particularly to the Wilshire alignment of the Orange line. Wilshire Boulevard is the business spine of Los Angeles--it is where the jobs are, it is where the traffic is and it is where air pollution is ever increasing.

Here is where a subway is needed most--to bring workers from low-income areas to the east to where jobs are more plentiful without having to use their cars. And the benefits to us residents in the area is the lessening of the deterioration of air quality, which is rapidly falling below acceptable levels.

We are getting the development whether there is a subway or not. The new sewer line has shown a safe way to a cleaner bay. It has also shown a safer way to public transportation and cleaner air. It could happen--but only if the congressman for this area, Henry Waxman, is willing to see it.

HARALD R. HAHN

Los Angeles

Editor's note: Hahn is president of the Burton Way Homeowners Assn.

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