[env-trinity] Is it really the toxic waste dump?

Joshua Allen trinityjosh at gmail.com
Thu Feb 11 09:24:41 PST 2010

 Maybe someone should tell the governor that the group should expand their
study to include naturally occurring toxic sediments that are being
concentrated and made biologically active due to excessive irrigation of the

The toxic dump is up in the Kettleman foothills, whereas Kettleman is
directly below the Westlands, with groundwater flow causing all those white
patches of alkali land in the area.

If they expanded their study area beyond Kettleman Dump, they may see that
the problem goes further than that localized area? Doesn't anyone remember

But what do I know, I just grew up in Kings County, and have friends and
family still there dealing with health issues...

----- Forwarded Message ----
*From:* Greenaction <Greenaction at mail.vresp.com>
*To:* m_tolbert2003 at yahoo.com
*Sent:* Wed, February 3, 2010 5:26:24 PM
*Subject:* Governor Joins Kettleman Fight - 5 Ways YOU Can Help

[image: logo for VR real.JPG]

[image: Kettleman baby LA Times.jpg]

Dear friends,

In response to the campaign by residents, Greenaction and allies, Governor
Schwarzenegger has ordered state agencies to conduct a real investigation
into why babies are being born with birth defects and dying in Kettleman
City. The fight to stop the proposed expansion of the Chem Waste toxic waste
dump and the proposed  Avenal fossil fuel power plant is gaining momentum.

This campaign is proving to be the litmus test by which we can judge whether
the EPA and the White House will live up to their commitment to protect the
health of the American people and promote environmental justice. Please help
us make history! Please read this amazing Los Angeles Time story, below, and
please support Greenaction.

-Bradley Angel, Executive Director

LA Times article 01/29/10

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger directed state public health and environmental
officials Friday to visit Kettleman City to conduct “a thorough
investigation” into the causes of an abnormal percentage of birth defects in
the small San Joaquin Valley farming community.

Schwarzenegger’s intercession comes more than a year after activists
unsuccessfully petitioned state agencies to investigate whether a large
toxic dump near the community might be causing cleft palates and other
defects among the mostly low-income Latino residents. The dump, operated by
Houston-based Waste
is the largest hazardous waste facility west of the Mississippi.

Earlier this week, Jared Blumenfeld, the regional administrator of the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency launched a federal
calling the situation “a human tragedy at a scale...none of us would want to
have to endure. We will take our time and spend time on the ground,” he
said, alluding to activists’ complaints that state officials had refused to
visit the beleaguered enclave. “When I hear about people doing reports
without going to the community, it makes my blood boil,” Blumenfeld said.

*Greenaction for Health and Environmental
a San Francisco-based group that has helped organize the community, *called
Schwarzenegger’s action “long overdue” and urged him to order the state
Department of Toxic Substances Control to suspend a permit application from
Waste Management to expand the facility.
In a statement, Schwarzenegger emphasized that the investigation would
“include interviews with families,” as well as “a scientific review of soil
samples and a full examination of medical records.” Officials would also
review the overall birth defect rates over a 22-year period in the region.

Community members say that five babies out of 20 live births in a recent
14-month period had facial deformities. A review by the Kings County Public
Health Department found that six of 63 babies born to mothers living in the
town had various birth defects over the same period.
The community of 1,500 sits in a region heavily polluted by pesticides and
by fumes from diesel-powered trucks.

Waste Management said in a statement it is “pleased” that the state will
investigate the birth defects in a “coordinated interagency approach.” It
added, “We believe our Kettleman Hills facility is highly protective of
human health and  the environment.”

--Margot Roosevelt

  *       [image: donate
*Thank you!



 *1)  DONATE!  *Now more than ever, we need your support.  This campaign is
costing thousands of dollars, including for printing flyers, transportation
for residents to attend the hearings and meetings, and paying for
independent sampling to document pollution that could be causing the birth
defects and deaths.  Please donate above.

*2)*  *VOLUNTEER!  *Whatever you can do, we can use it!  We need people
power.  Help research, answer phones, attend meetings, events, protests.
The phones are ringing off the hook!

*3)  HOST A HOUSE PARTY!  *Tell your friends, help us raise money and

4) * FORWARD THIS TO FRIENDS*.  Help us build the movement.

*5)  EMAIL THE EPA.  *Ask them to protect Kettleman City by denying Chem
Waste's permit application to keep dumping toxic PCBs, and deny the permit
for the proposed Avenal fossil fuel power plant.

*Email reyes.deldi at epa.gov*
*  *

*  *

*   *

*  *
  Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice * 415-248-5010 *

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