Here is her letter:
LPG facility poses threat
When we prioritize the important things in life, safety is No. 1. We often hear our politicians say this too.
Late in November 2007, the Channel 4 evening news presented an alarming report. Using a computer simulation, they demonstrated a rupture, explosion and spreading fire from a (proposed) liquefied gas terminal 20 miles out to sea, north of Santa Monica.
In this scenario several thousand residents would be killed.
A real alarming truth is that in San Pedro there is a 25-million gallon liquefied petroleum gas tank facility, AmeriGas Propane Inc. These tanks sit across from a densely populated neighborhood, two blocks from three schools, the 110 freeway and the Port of Los Angeles.
In a catastrophic incident, the 140,000 nearest residents in Harbor City, Rancho Palos Verdes, San Pedro, Lomita and Wilmington could lose their lives.
Destruction would be enormous.
This site was the subject for congressional action with the Fuels Transportation Safety Amendments Act of 1978. As a public safety concern in the 1970s the Port Master Plan identified these tanks as urgently needing relocation to a remote site.
We remember the creation of "Energy Island" (now called Pier 400). This huge landfill in our harbor was built with the stated purpose of "public safety." The port instead uses it for a container terminal.
After the attacks of 9-11, our elected officials promised to act swiftly to remove serious hazards in our area. Promises of a life-and-death nature were broken again.
For 30 years homeowners groups and later neighborhood councils petitioned the city of Los Angeles to do the right thing concerning AmeriGas. Sadly, Harbor Area residents have seen several mayors, administrations, city attorneys, city councilmen (and women) fail to come through for us. Even former City Councilman Rudy Svorinich has been a consultant for AmeriGas (also for Ponte Vista developer Bob Bisno).
Pleas for help to remove AmeriGas have gone to the city Planning Department, the mayor, all City Council members, the U.S. Department of Transportation and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Federal Rail Safety Administration, Homeland Security, the governor, congresswomen, newspapers and also to news and talk-radio producers - to name a few.
Replies to our letters point toward the city of L.A. needing to take responsibility!
As residents, we need to act in our best interests. Time is likely not on our community's side.
Please urge Los Angeles to put our families' safety at the top of their agenda.
Councilwoman Janice Hahn's phone number is 310-732-4515. Urge other City Council members at http://www.lacity.org/.
- JODY JAMES
There should be no argument, debate, or questioning anything Ms. James wrote. She is one of the most knowledgeable individuals who has been dealing with our local environment for years.
If you hear anyone claim that Jody doesn't know what she is talking about, they would be dead wrong!
If you want expert advise on environmental issues around the Port of Los Angeles and OUR community, you would need to look for further than Ms. James.
If you wish to wonder why the words Ms. James has written are so important as far as Ponte Vista goes, have a look at "Google Earth". You would be able to see the twin Amerigas tanks and the property that we know as Ponte Vista, all being close to each other.
With a populated Ponte Vista and any kind of problem with the Amerigas tanks, not only would so very many people suffer, but two of the major exit routes out of San Pedro and eastern Rancho Palos Verdes would most probably be taken out of service and that would trap not only the injured that would need treatment, it would also cut off two major arteries for residents who need to evacuate.
In a worst case scenario, it really wouldn't matter to folks like me and everyone living in northwest San Pedro and much of the area east of Miraleste Drive. If we were at home during the event, we would most likely parish with either the initial blast, or be consumed by the fires that would rage all around us.
We are not saying that the sky is falling, but many, many individuals in OUR community have been thinking about those monstrous tanks for years now.
This issue is just one more issue that needs a great amount of discussion and dealing with, as far as Ponte Vista goes
Have any of you been witness to what happens when a "Cat Cracker" blows up? If you have lived near the now Conoco-Phillips refinery for a good number of years, you may have remembered the humongous blast and the bright orange glow that filled the night sky.
Perhaps you felt, heard, witnessed, or had your home damaged when the Sanseina blew up in the outer harbor in 1976. That explosion broke the front glass in the old Von's store that is now Henry's. If that blast did the damage it did so far away from northwest San Pedro, the thought of what an explosion at Amerigas, is something that would be horrible to imagine.
No folks, it is not doomsday today, and it most probably be tomorrow. In consideration of placing as many as 1,950 units so close to escape routes of any disaster in San Pedro, we all must think about what is really best for OUR community.