or PCBs, when other contaminates might also exist, and not holding
any neighborhood meetings before digging up the site. In response,
the water and power officials said they would begin the testing
process for lead and other health hazards on Monday.
"Before we do anything more at the site, we will contact you,"
electrical services administrator Ramon Abueg said. "If there is a
risk factor, we want to fix it."
Glendale Water and Power dug the hole to install a temporary
training facility for apprentices at the New York substation on
Altura Avenue. The soil contained low levels of carcinogenic PCBs and
was not considered a health hazard, Abueg said.
But when neighbors saw soil being dumped back into the hole to
even out soil where boulders were removed, many neighbors began
voicing their concerns.
The hole is about 7 feet deep, 45 feet wide and 90 feet long, city
Lyndon Ong Yiu, an environmental specialist who lives on nearby
Prospect Avenue, said he noticed paint he suspected to be lead
chipping from the substation's remains and said the city should have
a regulatory agency overseeing their testing.
Ong Yiu added that the hole should be covered, but filling it with
different soil that also has not been tested -- which the city was
planning to do -- is not the right move.
"You have to address our concerns if you have lead or asbestos
issues here," Ong Yiu said. "And we want a regulatory agency to say,
'This is clean.'"
Another neighbor, Melissa Cannon, is concerned about dirt from the
hole blowing through the area, especially since she walks by the site
everyday with children.
"I don't care how small [the traces of PCBs] are, if my kids get
cancer, I'm going to get upset," Cannon said.
Glendale Water and Power officials were hoping to convert the
property into a training school for two or three years while a new
sewer pipe is installed near the power company's current training
site on San Fernando Road.
But the plans have been aborted because the sewer project has been
postponed, Abueg said.
And as far as failing to notify residents about similar projects
in the future, he said the lesson has been learned.
"One thing I've learned is to talk to you more often," Abueg said.
* JACKSON BELL covers public safety and courts. He may be reached
at (818) 637-3232 or by e-mail at jackson.belllatimes.com.