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Lockheed Martin in Bonny Doon Says No to Water Testing
Lockheed Martin has declined a request by CCALM (Community Concerned About Lockheed Martin) to drill test wells to monitor ground water quality at their Bonny Doon facility at the end of Empire Grade. Lockheed continues to assert that there is nothing for local residents to worry about, although they have no records of disposal practices at the facility prior to 1984, leaving 26 years of missing information on waste disposal operations in effect before regulated mandatory environmental accountability. In a recent letter to CCALM, Charles Manor, the Strategic Communications Director for Lockheed Martin stated, "As to your question related to test wells and waste disposal operations at [Bonny Doon], we feel confident that our historical knowledge of operations conducted at the facility, along with the types and amounts of materials that would have been needed to carry out those operations, obviate the need for additional test wells. However, in the highly improbable event that any of our neighbors have experienced any quality problems with their well water and you have firsthand knowledge of such an occurrence, would you please urge them to contact us directly so that we might assist them."
Among the chemicals that may have leached into the soil at the Bonny Doon site during the years of testing rocket engines is perchlorate, a rocket fuel oxidizer that interferes with normal thyroid functioning, particularly in fetuses and young children. In 2000, while Lockheed Martin successfully lobbied the federal Environmental Protection Agency to set high levels for acceptable perchlorate contamination, a group of San Bernardino County citizens suffering thyroid cancer and other disorders sued Lockheed Martin, asserting that perchlorate came into area water supplies from a now-closed plant.
Lockheed Martin’s refusal, or inability, to explicitly identify which chemicals might have been dumped in Bonny Doon, or to assume the responsibility for proactive test wells, leaves residents in the unfortunate position of having to wait for something bad to show up, or bear the burden of research and testing, which includes wading through the County Environmental Health Dept. 1,800-page Hazardous Materials Management Plan of possible chemicals Lockheed might have used, guessing what to test for, and paying for the tests themselves. After over three years of Lockheed Martin officials deftly answering while not really answering CCALM’s questions, it seems the only other hope is for a former employee to come forward and substantiate the long-standing rumors of toxic dumping at the site.
article via The Highlander, July-August 2006 issue
The Highlander: The Rural Bonny Doon Association Newsletter
102 Sunlit Lane • Bonny Doon, CA 95060
Bonny Doon's voice in preserving our special quality of life, The Highlander, is mailed free to Bonny Doon residents prior to the RBDA General Meetings, which are usually held on second Wednesdays of January, March, May, July, September and November. We encourage you to participate.
CCALM (Community Concerned About Lockheed Martin)