SIERRA CLUB BALLONA TIME LINE:History of Engagement, Protection andRestoration of Ballona Wetlands
1988 Patricia McPherson & James Garrett introduce Wetlands Committee (per authorization and assignment from the Angeles Chapter, Conservation Committee / Executive Committee) to be the Wetland Subcommittee of the Clean Coastal Waters Task Force
(CCWTFClean Coastal Waters Task Force - Sierra Club California Angeles Chapter). (Examples of ongoing protection work were brought to the Club to help establish need of the creation of the Wetland Committee.) The CCWTFClean Coastal Waters Task Force - Sierra Club California Angeles Chapter was then finishing up its role in protection of the coast after helping to end the Los Angeles offshore oil drilling threat. When Wetlands Committee became a subcommittee of the CCWTFClean Coastal Waters Task Force - Sierra Club California Angeles Chapter, the group included Peter Saundrey, Jeff Jones, Liz Merry, Patricia McPherson, James Garrett and others. (Kathy Knight entered campaign a few years later)
The Wetland Committee became the leading issue for CCWTFClean Coastal Waters Task Force - Sierra Club California Angeles Chapter as the threat of offshore oil drilling was ended. During this timeframe a series of meetings were launched to initiate the campaign of wetland protection with its focus of Ballona Wetlands. The larger public meetings were held at Burton Chace Park, which included educational displays of large, mounted displays of Ballona’s wildlife as well as inclusion of the weekly (James Garrett) Argonaut articles focused on different wildlife of Ballona each week. The journalism of James Garret continued via articles in the Orange County Register, LA Times and other newspapers and the Garrett/McPherson publication—California Nature (which included Sierra Club/Angeles Chapter sanctioned outreach). See examples scanned. Various experts (Ph Ds) such as Rudi Matoni (insect expert); Rim Fay (ocean expert); and others provided expert presentations at Burton Chace.
Large mounted educational displays of Ballona’s wildlife and James Garrett's Argonaut articles focused on different wildlife of Ballona each week.
Regular meetings were held at the downtown office of Sierra Club.
(Ballona Lagoon Marine Preserve was formed during this timeframe also. McPherson & Garrett are founding members of this group and left as part of the advisory board when the lagoon was preserved. Ballona Wetlands was by then, the focus of attention for protection.1989 Sierra Club Executive Committee es
The main tented location included, Interactive Wetland Group Displays, from environmental groups from all over California and Mexico; educational presentations by experts; walks, runs, and Nursery Nature Walks. LAUSDLos Angeles Unified School District participated in a Poster & Essay Contest (Themed No Wild, No Wildlife) with top prizes given by Pepsi, a collaborative sponsor. The educational vessel, Tall Ship California, provided a week at sea (coastal wetland education & seamanship) and money prizes were awarded. All participants received T-Shirts entitled WETLANDS PRESERVATION ’90. This event took a full year to produce. $20,000 was provided to Sierra Club by Patricia McPherson to pay for a company that was vetted and approved by the Angeles Chapter to find GREEN SPONSORS for the Event. During the year, other wetland groups, organizations, California state agencies and agencies outside California, were contacted for inclusion and support.
During 1989 ongoing work continued with the LAUSDLos Angeles Unified School District school system on the No Wild, No Wildlife poster and essay outreach program. This work included LAUSD supplied videos created by Washington State Fish & Wildlife regarding wetlands education by Bill Nye, The Science Guy. Burton Chace Park was utilized for presentations leading up to the Event. Elected officials participated in meetings re: wetland education & outreach for Wetlands Preservation ’90 was ongoing throughout this year. It introduced the loss of 95% of coastal wetlands with Ballona as the local model in need of protection. Peter Steinhart's 'Tracks In The Sky' data and information was utilized in brochures. Contact with him for possible attendance at Wetland's 90 was ongoing.
Publicity included radio, print, and media events with TV celebrities etc. (Marcia Hanscom was an employee of the company Sierra Club hired to find green sponsors for the Wetlands Preservation '90. M. Hanscom was not affiliated with the Sierra Club or any wetland engagement group per communications with her throughout this timeframe.)
SIERRA CLUB's engagement in wetland protection, a major and continuing campaign effort, began in 1987.
was looming large
The Clean Coastal Waters Task Force (CCWTFClean Coastal Waters Task Force - Sierra Club California Angeles Chapter) continued to campaign for protection of Ballona—performing research, seeking out expert professionals as well as agency and elected officials to promote awareness and protection of Ballona. (The Jim Henrikson PhD study and numerous other studies were performed on Ballona to lay out its true history.)
---The (LUPLand Use Plan - Los Angeles County) Land Use Plan was also being challenged by the Friends of Ballona (FOBFriends of Ballona) in a litigation (1984-90). CCWTFClean Coastal Waters Task Force - Sierra Club California Angeles Chapter did outreach to various members of Friends of Ballona (FOBFriends of Ballona), including its president, to attempt to get up to speed on the challenge and ultimately was informed by the president that a Settlement Agreement (SASettlement Agreement) was reached by FOBFriends of Ballona.
This false premise of Ballona’s history has been embedded in the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIRDraft Environmental Impact Report - State) for Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve (BWERBallona Wetlands Ecological Reserve) due to the permits issued by United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACEUnited States Army Corps of Engineers), California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFWCalifornia Department of Fish and Wildlife) and others on behalf of Playa Vista. These permits were approved prior to the ’93 EIREnvironmental Impact Report release on Playa Vista and as such did not have the benefit of much needed analysis of Ballona’s true nature.
1990 Settlement Agreement (SASettlement Agreement)
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and California Department of Fish & Wildlife
The lack of using the Poland Report, U.S. House Documents 389 and 780 led to the current and falsely premised Environmental Impact Report release. Both the Playa Vista Environmental Impact Report approved in 1993 (EIREnvironmental Impact Report) and the current Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIRDraft Environmental Impact Report - State) are based upon the false premises of the 1990 Settlement Agreement and its updated Stipulation Agreement of 2006.
1990-1993 Sierra Club work centered around responding to the EIREnvironmental Impact Report for the Playa Vista development project. This project was one of the largest development projects in the United States. Numerous groups were created in response to challenging the EIREnvironmental Impact Report and Playa Vista. The Sierra Club Wetland Subcommittee of the Clean Coastal Waters Task Force (CCWTFClean Coastal Waters Task Force - Sierra Club California Angeles Chapter) became part of this effort.
6/18/90 Sierra Club Angeles Chapter - Clean Coastal Waters Task Force (CCWTFClean Coastal Waters Task Force - Sierra Club California Angeles Chapter) DELIVERED ITS RESPONSIVE COMMENTS TO THE PLAYA VISTA EIREnvironmental Impact Report. CCWTFClean Coastal Waters Task Force - Sierra Club California Angeles Chapter included Patricia McPherson, Jeff Jones, Peter Saundry, Liz Merry and others. Kathy Knight entered the Ballona struggle around 1992 during the EIREnvironmental Impact Report release.
1990 CCCCalifornia Coastal Commission Permit 5-91-463 approved -- Freshwater Marsh System Permit approval by California Coastal Commission which included the tenets of the 1990 Settlement Agreement between the CCCCalifornia Coastal Commission and Friends of Ballona/ Playa Vista and United States Army Corps of Engineers USACEUnited States Army Corps of Engineers (The USACEUnited States Army Corps of Engineers PERMIT used "Freshwater Marsh System" as the DESCRIPTION authorized by the CCCCalifornia Coastal Commission for its 5-91-463 Permit approval. This USACEUnited States Army Corps of Engineers language became an intrinsic part of the CCCCalifornia Coastal Commission Permit.)
CCWTFClean Coastal Waters Task Force - Sierra Club California Angeles Chapter attended CCCCalifornia Coastal Commission Meetings gathering data and information. This was the inception of the learning experience for who had authority over Ballona Wetlands.
The Settlement Agreement (SA) was not known and/or understood for its negative and ill informed impacts until recent years. (We did not have the litigation briefs or data, which was Public Record Act requested years later.) In fact, the SASettlement Agreement was only found via the California Coastal Commission after John Davis delved through box-loads of their data. The only signed copy was provided via TATTN Tongva Ancestral Territorial Tribal Nation - John Tommy Rosas- John Tommy Rosas - Native American who garnered the status of Sacred Site over ALL OF BALLONA (this includes the land/water)..
1990-93 Sierra Club garnered expert testimony and response to the EIREnvironmental Impact Report for Playa Vista from oil/gas field migration experts and petroleum engineers (EndresBernard Endres Phd and Gas Migration Expert / Chillingar / Roberston) and another industry expert. The data response to the EIREnvironmental Impact Report continued thereafter in administrative commenting during multiple LA CITY Hearings per Ballona Wetlands region.
1991 PLAYA VISTA / William Want (attorney for Playa Vista) produces report for the Freshwater Marsh Alternatives per the FOBFriends of Ballona Settlement Agreement. The CCWTFClean Coastal Waters Task Force - Sierra Club California Angeles Chapter / Wetlands Committee responds to report.
1992 USACEUnited States Army Corps of Engineers PERMIT 90-00426-EV was approved. CCWTFClean Coastal Waters Task Force - Sierra Club California Angeles Chapter / Wetland Committee respond to California Coastal Commission amendments to 5-91-463 CDPCoastal Development Permit from California Coastal Commission which are the Army Corps' description of the Freshwater Marsh System with changes added.)
1991-93 Sierra Club Wildlife Committee existed and also provided a presence in Ballona matters. (During this timeframe, there were multiple parties entering the CCWTFClean Coastal Waters Task Force - Sierra Club California Angeles Chapter / Wetland Committee who were attempting to halt Sierra Club engagement in Ballona matters. Hence, while maintaining this group, Patricia McPherson & others created subcommittees to maintain the wildlife issues and gas issues of Ballona.
1993 Bernard EndresBernard Endres Phd and Gas Migration Expert Phd Gas Migration Expert and John Robertson Petroleum Engineer's EIREnvironmental Impact Report response, was also evidence utilized for Angeles Chapter Executive Committee to approve the Resolution to request Congressional Hearings as to the safety of the operations of SoCalGasSouthern California Gas Company (SCGSouthern California Gas Company) / Playa del Rey (PDRPlaya Del Rey) in this densely populated urban area and its effects upon Ballona Wetlands and its wildlife. Irv Lyon and Patricia McPherson presented the Resolution which was approved by Angeles Chapter.
1993 Save Ballona Wetlands was later renamed Ballona Ecosystem Educational Project (BEEPBallona Ecosystem Education Project - Rex Frankel) by members Kathy Knight, Rex Frankel, and Sal Grammatico.
1993 SoCalGasSouthern California Gas Company (SCGSouthern California Gas Company) / Playa del Rey (PDR) and Playa Vista interoffice memo—discusses the EVER GROWING BATTLE OF THE SIERRA CLUB TOWARDS SCGSouthern California Gas Company/PDRPlaya Del Rey (press is ongoing via Channel 2 Action News via CCWTFClean Coastal Waters Task Force - Sierra Club California Angeles Chapter / Wetland Committee members Patricia McPherson and Kathy Knight line up scheduling for oilfield gas migration experts / petroleum engineers - Dr. Bernard EndresBernard Endres Phd and Gas Migration Expert and John Robertson for a series of on-air exposes pertaining to SoCalGasSouthern California Gas Company leakage problems in Ballona Wetlands.
1994-6 The Sierra Club Coastal Protection Committee continues Meetings with SCGSouthern California Gas Company / PDRPlaya Del Rey at Club Offices to discuss problems of SoCalGasSouthern California Gas Company / Playa del Rey underground gas storage operations upon Ballona Wetlands. (Maps of storage area provided by SCGSouthern California Gas Company) Outreach to federal & state officials & the public - Gas leakage is visibly occurring west of Centinela in Ballona Creek and Centinela Creek. Sierra Club members, Bernard EndresBernard Endres Phd and Gas Migration Expert Phd Gas Migration Expert, and Petroleum Engineer John Robertson meet with Maguire Thomas & Partners (MTPMaguire Thomas Partners) and SoCalGasSouthern California Gas Company officials to discuss findings per the leakage. SoCalGasSouthern California Gas Company collects its own samples - not yet released at this time.
1994 Save Ballona Wetlands (later BEEPBallona Ecosystem Education Project - Rex Frankel) was in litigation per Phase 1 of Playa Vista. (Kate Neiswender et al attorneys.)
1994 Sierra Club Coastal Protection Committee's (morphed from CCWTFClean Coastal Waters Task Force - Sierra Club California Angeles Chapter) 2 pages from Jeff Jones collaborating with Ballona Wetlands Landtrust in restoration plans for a,b,c,d citing Sierra Club’s opposition to the Playa Vista Project.
CLICK Montage to enlarge
1992-4 or 5… THE CAMPAIGN TO SAVE CALIFORNIA WETLANDS
Allen, J., M. Cunningham, A. Greenwood, and L. Rosenthal. 1992. The value of California wetlands: an analysis of their economic benefits. The Campaign To Save California Wetlands, Oakland, California.
'88- 94 CCWTFClean Coastal Waters Task Force - Sierra Club California Angeles Chapter / Wetland Committee/ 94-99 Coastal Protection Committee (’96 subcommittee - Preserve Ballona Task Force) members meet regularly to promote the NEW…NO NET LOSS OF WETLANDS…federal edict. SCSierra Club had joined this Campaign and outreach effort to promote the federal edict. Numerous organizations and wetland groups became part of this effort and participated as did we, in outreach effort in D.C. The Campaign lasted roughly a few short years as the SCSierra Club efforts out of Sacramento and elsewhere became cumbersome to continually regroup on this federal level effort while specific state needs consumed more prominent needs.
1995 Coastal Protection Committee responds to Playa Vista EIREnvironmental Impact Report addendum per issues for disallowing buildout upon Ballona.
1995 Citizens United To Save All of Ballona (CUSABCitizens United To Save All of Ballona) is formed around November ’95.
Founding groups willing to put their names behind the common goal to - “Protect, Restore and Maintain the entire Ballona Wetlands ecosystem and surrounding undeveloped open space in a natural and self-sustaining state.” The founding groups were Save Ballona Wetlands, Ballona Valley Preservation League, The Ballona Wetlands Land Trust, Wetlands Action Network, Reverence for Life, Earth Trust Foundation, and Wildlife Protection League. As of 1997 there were 70 groups in CUSABCitizens United To Save All of Ballona. (see 1997 Minutes and Groundrules)
Sierra Club is not a member organization due to national coalition requirements that had not been dealt with. SCSierra Club was, however, a staunch supporter of saving/protecting Ballona as its own entity. (See document - Citizens United in large Press Packet created in ’96)
1995 LA Weekly Article by B. Gibson—Subdividing Paradise… includes SCSierra Club CCWTF Clean Coastal Waters Task Force - Sierra Club California Angeles Chapter/ Wetland Committee — citing, “The Sierra Club itself disputes Gardner’s (Playa Vista) interpretation of its thinking. It’s ‘Sierra Club Policy—Urban Environment document explicitly says that within urban areas, parks, parklike lands, agricultural lands, and sensitive and hazardous areas should be excluded from infill developments.
'Wetlands', says the Sierra Club, 'should be acquired by public and nonprofit agencies and land trusts.' Moreover, the Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club has consistently opposed any development on the Playa Vista site west of Lincoln Boulevard since 1988. "emphasis added."
1996 April, ANGELES CHAPTER sets up a ‘Preserve Ballona Task Force’ that is under the Coastal Protection Committee. A Ballona Ecosystem Acquistion Fund is attempted in collaboration with organizations. Ballona Wetlands Land Trust (who commissioned a professional appraisal of Ballona 100 acres. (Funding request submittal by Kathy Knight & Gloria Cedrone, Angeles Chapter 8/14/97)
The Preserve Ballona Task Force is very active at this time and has over 200 citizens on its mailing list. (Citizens United to Save All of Ballona has 79 organizations signed on to the mission statement at this time)
1996 Sierra Club/ Coastal Protection Committee members Kathy Knight, Patricia McPherson and Rex Frankel collaborate with Ballona Wetlands Landtrust in a Press Event with California State Senator Tom Hayden. This press event promotes the saving of all of Ballona but focuses upon a proposal of USFWSUnited States Fish and Wildlife Service to garner funding to acquire Area A with Army Corps - 1135 Funds. (See documents - eg. ’96 USFWSUnited States Fish and Wildlife Service letter to Corps)
During this timeframe Maguire Partners and Howard Hughes Properties (recently acquired by Rouse Corporation) have defaulted on a $150 million loan and with penalties is up to $200 million. They have been foreclosed on by a group of companies that bought the debt for approximately half its value from Chase Manhatten Bank. July 7, 1997 is set for a trustee sale for most of the property including Parcel A. These new companies include Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund and Goldman Sachs & Co.’s Whitehall Street Real Estate Fund. Should they acquire the land they are considered to possibly be interested in selling off at least Parcel A rather than continue the lengthy battle over its Development.
CALIFORNIA STATE SENATOR TOM HAYDEN
1997, 1998 Two proposals for this funding are created by Sierra Club Coastal Protection Committee / Preserve Ballona Task Force subcommittee as part of the effort to obtain Area A. (see proposals; news clips)
1996 Kathy Knight was requested to speak and did so per Ballona / Playa Vista development issues of health and safety to the Culver City Democratic Club.
1996-7 SIERRA CLUB supported Ballona acquisition/ protection, CITIZENS UNITED TO SAVE ALL of BALLONA (CUSABCitizens United To Save All of Ballona) and numerous organizations had joined in the fight to save all of Ballona, BUT also many new groups were formed to do the same. SEE LIST OF GROUPS: Meetings were often held in Malibu, at EarthWays (ETINAEnvironmentalism Through Independent NonViolent Action - EarthWays 501c3 Non-profit) - Environmentalism Through Independent NonViolent Action is the EarthWays umbrella’ed 501c3 that was engaged with the CEQACalifornia Environmental Quality Act SEIRSubsequent Environmental Impact Report lawsuit and appeal which prevailed per Playa Vista / Ballona re: oil/gas; water issues—Andrew Beath, Director to support the goal to protect, acquire, restore and maintain the entire Ballona Wetlands Ecosystem and surrounding undeveloped open space in a natural and self-sustaining state. The Coastal Protection Committee also uses the name Coastal Wetlands Task Force. (see documents with this name use)
1997 Patricia McPherson and Kathy Knight - video interview & transcript with JOY ZEDLER...’NO BULLDOZERS…instead restore inch by inch”. Joy Zedler discusses the damage done to Tijuana Estuary while attempting to restore it via bulldozers. Soil regime destroyed…how not to restore and what was done to recover from this debacle. McPherson, Knight…also videotape wetlands from Tijuana Estuary to Ballona---current state as of 1997 on this trip to interview Joy Zedler Restoration Ecologist.
See regular interfacing with Smith, Kotto, Sypert et al in joint participation for collaboration purposes within the Citizens United to Save All of Ballona which was the focal setting for meetings on Ballona. (see scanned conference doc)
1997-98 Sierra Club Coastal Protection Committee / Preserve Ballona Task Force — Effort to use the Sierra Club Foundation as a banker for funding to acquire Ballona Wetlands (working with Gloria Cedrone). Continued work from the ’96 effort to acquire Ballona.
1997 Subject: '97 CITIZENS UNITED TO SAVE ALL OF BALLONA--GROUNDRULES (CUSABCitizens United To Save All of Ballona FORMED IN ’95) (Chair position was a rotating position for all groups to participate.) This doc establishes the guidelines for CUSABCitizens United To Save All of Ballona - note at the end of the hand written per MODERATOR--- GUIDELINES were needed due to hierarchy of authority. Marcia Hanscom was a focal point for division, which is why there was a mediation finally that didn't go well, and the CUSABCitizens United To Save All of Ballona did not last much longer. The group's persistent overarching goal to protect Ballona was recognized. Andrew Beath also became a part of the later 2001 SEIRSubsequent Environmental Impact Report - Playa Vista/Ballona lawsuit with (ETINAEnvironmentalism Through Independent NonViolent Action - EarthWays 501c3 Non-profit) which ultimately prevailed after multiple years of litigation. The litigation included Grassroots Coalition Patricia McPherson and Jeanette Vosburg in the Appeal and followup Administrative actions with Grassroots Coalition; and individuals Dan Cohen and John Davis. Ultimately a Chief Legislative Analyst's Report that then Councilman Fuer recommended was utilized by the City in lieu of CEQACalifornia Environmental Quality Act.
Grassroots Coalition was not formed until 1999. The large organizational for a voice on Ballona issues was the Sierra Club. Patricia McPherson and Kathy Knight and McPherson et al established the Ballona Wetlands Landtrust (Landtrust). The intent and outcome was to handover operations to Sabrina Venskus (who was later our attorney for the CEQACalifornia Environmental Quality Act litigation of Playa Vista / Ballona and Tom Francis etal--which did occur. (eg. the 1996 Hayden et al press event was with Sierra Club but we were establishing Landtrust as another voice & a potential ‘trust’ for Ballona acquisition funds.)
The CUSABCitizens United To Save All of Ballona was also a voice for all things Ballona. The coalition attended meetings in Malibu at Andrew Beath's (EarthWays) office location. Save All of Ballona...was a voice for Patricia, Kathy, Rex Frankel, and Sal Grammatico...AFTER the Friends of Ballona (FOBFriends of Ballona) lawsuit against its name..it became Ballona Ecosystem Education Project (BEEPBallona Ecosystem Education Project - Rex Frankel). Patricia McPherson recruited help from various animal welfare groups throughout this timeframe. (In Defense of Animals; Friends of Animals; Last Chance For Animals; Actors & Others For Animals…)
1997-2003 Kathy Knight, Patricia McPherson work on behalf of Angeles Chapter - Coastal Protection Committee / Preserve Ballona Task Force and later /AMGAirport Marina Group of the Sierra Club California Angeles Chapter per the Belmont Learning Center Complex problems of building over an oilfield.
Numerous hearings and work within the community to investigate and demonstrate problems of proposed buildout of the LAUSDLos Angeles Unified School District SCHOOL as well as within the surrounding community--the decrepit, and dangerous oilfield drilling operations by MANLEY OIL for LAUSDLos Angeles Unified School District and itself within the community. This work with AQMDCalifornia Air Quality Management District & LAUSDLos Angeles Unified School District led to the shut down (abandonment) of the 4 -Toluca (LAUSDLos Angeles Unified School District) wells and numerous wells within the community that were positioned within people’s yards and open to the inhabitants. (see images above) (see news articles and nexus with ongoing attempts of Playa Vista to also place a school site on Ballona / Playa Vista…oilfield gas and water issues)
Ultimately, an SEIRSubsequent Environmental Impact Report was required and half the site was disallowed for buildout and turned into a park. DTSCCalifornia Department of Toxic Substances Control maintained oversight of the oilfield gas issues and mitigation with which the City of Los Angeles was also engaged per Playa Vista/ SoCalGasSouthern California Gas Company and oilfield gas/ water issues of all of Ballona.
1999 Santa Monica Mirror article "Opponents Claim Playa Vista Site Is Leaking Methane dated August 25-31, 1999" -- 1999 New Times LA.com article by Jill Stewart "Getting Steamed Rolled," an intriguing political coup. The 2001 New Times LA.com article by Jill Stewart "Belmont II, The would-be Playa Vista project is worse than the L.A. Unified Horror" excerpt below. (News articles are available upon request.)
The nexus with Belmont & Ballona / Playa Vista was a defining challenge. The SEIRSubsequent Environmental Impact Report litigation utilized the transcript from the LADBSLos Angeles City Department of Building and Safety Commission Hearing. The LADBSLos Angeles City Department of Building and Safety hearing also gave rise to the COMMISSION'S STATEMENT...that it was a matter of urgency to create a new methane code...because the current code was inadequate to handle the high volume outgassing at Playa Vista or anywhere in the wetlands.
1999-2000 It was the BUILDING & SAFETY Commissions hearings; and LADBSLos Angeles City Department of Building and Safety communications with Exploration TechnoIogies Inc and their studies; and the SEIRSubsequent Environmental Impact Report litigation that gave rise to Playa Vista becoming a willing seller. LADBS disallowed residential building over the gas storage operations... west of Lincoln Blvd. This was the apparent impetus for Playa Vista to work with the Gov. Gray Davis which gave rise to the Proposition 50 Bonds and Proposition 12 Bonds to both let the public buy Ballona and have money for its restoration. (PVPlaya Vista had formerly agreed to add $10 mil for restoration as part of the 1990 SASettlement Agreement with CCCCalifornia Coastal Commission.)
This avenue of bond financing was PVPlaya Vista's opportunity to sell Ballona for their desired price.
The legal challenge - SEIRSubsequent Environmental Impact Report - also demonstrates Grassroots Coalition (GCGrassroots Coalition) working collaboratively, and with financial assistance from the Chapter and AMGAirport Marina Group of the Sierra Club California Angeles Chapter on both the SEIRSubsequent Environmental Impact Report and on the LADBSLos Angeles City Department of Building and Safety permit challenge. GCGrassroots Coalition investigative work provided the attachments / evidence in the Permit Challenge before LADBSLos Angeles City Department of Building and Safety Commissioners...ie the H2SHydrogen Sulfide injuries...Colich and Sons...Inc.
It was Kathy Knight and Patricia McPherson's City of Los Angeles Departmental Investigative Work and Public Record Act requests delving into all records that showed the geysering happening during Playa Vista drilling on Ballona Wetlands, all of which Playa Vista was denying. LADBSLos Angeles City Department of Building and Safety Commissioners acknowledgement that there had been a lot of false and misleading statements made by Playa Capital Corporation (PCCPlaya Capital Company) in order to garner permits. The transcripts of the hearing were also utilized in the SEIRSubsequent Environmental Impact Report litigation which helped to paint the picture of what was actually occurring across the Ballona area.
The work of Knight and McPherson on behalf of Sierra Club included engagement on the Belmont Learning Center Complex with the Joint Legislative Audit Committee led by Senator Tom Hayden and Assemblyman Wildman. Records subpoenaed by both of them were independently reviewed and assessed for the elected. Numerous press conferences were convened with the JLACJoint Legislative Audit Committee - California Senate / Assembly Committee members as well as our own independent press done to demonstrate the oil/gas hazards of the area and to work on behalf of the health and safety of the Community. Knight and McPherson rented gas testing equipment and videotaped these efforts (often with Bernard EndresBernard Endres Phd and Gas Migration Expert Phd present) to bring in AQMDCalifornia Air Quality Management District assistance which occurred and gave rise to numerous violation citations to LAUSDLos Angeles Unified School District and remedies…which ultimately led to the abandonments of the LAUSDLos Angeles Unified School District - TOLUCA wells. Sierra Club (Coastal Protection Committee / Preserve Ballona Task Force) work was done collaboratively with members and the Chair of the Central Group, Jaunita Delomes. (Upon request see news stories and visuals and letters to DOGGRDivision of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources - California Department of Conservation)
The nexus to the proposed elementary school at Ballona/ Playa Vista provided the opportunity to engage on the Ballona gas issues simultaneously. Consequently, the Playa Vista school site was twice rejected due to its dangers of oilfield gases. Ultimately the Dept of Toxic Substances Control provided oversight of the school site at Playa Vista; the site was relocated but remains in an area that has proven to be an area of ever increasing outgassing. DTSCCalifornia Department of Toxic Substances Control has not adhered to the City of LA’s Methane Ordinance per the required 50’ vent wells, which remains an issue of dispute.
1999-2003 Knight and McPherson continued efforts in the neighborhood per the closure and abandonment of wells and other Manley Oil operations in the neighborhood. Interface with DOGGRDivision of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources - California Department of Conservation per imagery of dangerous wells in yards etc. which led to these wells being abandoned —see scanned photos.
1998 Michelle Sypert had been a part of the Coastal Protection Committee / Preserve Ballona Task Force group and became chair. Michelle Sypert was a spokesperson for Sierra Club and the wetland group as were others of the group as Ms Sypert was fairly new to the Sierra Club and specific issues of expertise were distributed within this group. Current members of the AM Group were, in part, the original CCWTFClean Coastal Waters Task Force - Sierra Club California Angeles Chapter - Wetland Committee Members which, simply morphed into the Coastal Protection Committee / Preserve Ballona Task Force, and in 1999-2000 became the Airport Marina Group. Original members dating back include - Patricia McPherson, James Garrett, Kathy Knight, Rex Frankel, and numerous others that joined the group, including long time AMGAirport Marina Group of the Sierra Club California Angeles Chapter Executive Committee Members Joe Young, John Davis, Leslie Purcell, Lauren Hammer, Suzy Goodman and Jeanette Vosburg.)
The Coalition of groups (CUSABCitizens United To Save All of Ballona) that had been forming from 1990, in part, as a result of Playa Vista/ CDFWCalifornia Department of Fish and Wildlife activities to kill fox onsite. This killing activity began shortly after the Friends of Ballona/Playa Vista Settlement Agreement with the California Coastal Commission (CCCCalifornia Coastal Commission) (within a couple of years) and was halted due to massive protest and lack of data to support red fox as nonnative. California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFWCalifornia Department of Fish and Wildlife) public record act requested documents revealed the CDFWCalifornia Department of Fish and Wildlife desire to never perform such activities onsite due to the massive negative press.
It was during the killings that numerous animal welfare groups came to assist to end of the killings. Patricia McPherson, as catalyst for their engagement, was also acting as an ongoing representative for several of the groups per their authorization during various incidents/meetings. This alliance remains and can be seen in the Sierra Club Airport Marina Group’s collaboration with In Defense of Animals and Grassroots Coalition.
CUSABCitizens United To Save All of Ballona MEETINGS— numerous meetings took place at Andrew Beath’s 501c3 Earth Trust (EarthWays) site in Malibu.
Issues involving multiple group interactions led to mediation with multiple groups of Citizens United to Save All of Ballona. (The mediation can be discussed with Andrew Beath per its issues.)
1998-1999 At a Ballona Task Force meeting at Santa Monica Boys and Girls Club, both Roy Van De Hoek and Marcia Hanscom WERE VOTED OFF Positions as Chair and Vice Chair. Afterwards, M. Hanscom complained that the process had not been fair. The Task Force members that outvoted the two disagreed. It was around this event and timeframe that yet another mediation attempt occurred.
2000 Rex Frankel’s Southern Sierran article cites Kathy Knight as the Conservation Chair of the Airport Marina Group.
1998-1999 During this time frame Al Sattler or other Sierra Club leadership maintained a presence at meetings. Rose McHardy incident.
2000-2001 Rex Frankel is a Chapter Executive Committee member and part of Airport Marina Group (the name switch occurs, which signals that two separate but equal entities providing Sierra Club participation on Ballona Wetland matters.
2000-2001 History Airport Marina Group Rex Frankel, Kathy Knight, Patricia McPherson and Rex Frankel was a member of Chapter Ex Com...DURING the time he wrote the Southern Sierran article.
12/2000 AMGAirport Marina Group of the Sierra Club California Angeles Chapter letter to LA DWP PER water/gas issues. (see enclosures that went with this letter)
2001 Document discusses review of upcoming Southern Sierran article between Rex Frankel, Kathy Knight and Patricia McPherson - SC member and lawsuit of our coalition groups that SCSierra Club chipped in financially after going through Executive Committee approvals. GAS / Water issues of Ballona / SCGSouthern California Gas Company and PVPlaya Vista DISCUSSES halting of permits for additional review of the issues.
January 9, 2001 is another Sierra Club article …Draft by Kathy and Rex Frankel and email re: another review/check of it by Patricia McPherson.
1999 Sierra Club Coastal Protection Committee / Preserve Ballona Task Force...Engaged city of Los Angeles per Playa Vista per the oilfield gas issues of Playa Vista / SoCalGasSouthern California Gas Company. DURING THIS TIMEFRAME of exposure to the dangers of the oilfield gases and potential school sites; McPherson and Knight established via working with the LA Dept of Building & Safety and its gas expert - Exploration Technologies Inc. - the Playa Vista school site was rejected for buildout due to the oilfield gas issues of Ballona Wetlands / SoCalGasSouthern California Gas Company / PDRPlaya Del Rey operations. This first phase area ultimately had a NEW METHANE CODE…known as the Playa Vista Methane Protection Detection and Monitoring Program.
1998-9 On behalf of Sierra Club and Grassroots Coalition (GCGrassroots Coalition) Kathy Knight and Patricia McPherson had been investigating (and garnering gas samples from the region which were submitted to Isotech Lab in Champaign, Illinois per instructions on sampling from Isotech Lab and in consultation with Bernard EndresBernard Endres Phd and Gas Migration Expert PhD gas migration expert. We provided our research and data to the City of Los Angeles - head of Building & Safety Grading Division. The information contained was data retrieved from Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCBCalifornia Regional Water Quality Control Board). The ENSR Report was commissioned by Playa Capital (LLCLimited Liability Company) which had conclusive data entries of gas sampling on Playa Vista that were determined by Dr. EndresBernard Endres Phd and Gas Migration Expert to be thermogentic gas samples. (McPherson and Knight videotaped interview with Ian Kaplan who established his acknowledgement of the outgassing dangers which provided further impetus to LADBSLos Angeles City Department of Building and Safety for garnering independent study of the gas issues.)
(LARWQCBLos Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board - Los Angeles County did not review or have jurisdiction over oilfield gas issues until recently, as a result of new legislation after the Aliso Canyon blow out of SoCalGasSouthern California Gas Company underground gas storage operations there.)
Knight/McPherson took this sampling and arranged meetings with LADBSLos Angeles City Department of Building and Safety - GRADING (David Hsu) and provided video taped interviews of another gas migration experts which led to further meetings and our intro for Dr. EndresBernard Endres Phd and Gas Migration Expert to LADBSLos Angeles City Department of Building and Safety / D. Hsu. Gas sampling McPherson had performed along with video tape of this sampling was also provided to LADBSLos Angeles City Department of Building and Safety.
During the entirety of this process Kathy Knight, Patricia McPherson and EndresBernard Endres Phd and Gas Migration Expert Phd had been give authority by LADBSLos Angeles City Department of Building and Safety to freely communicate with ETIExploration Technologies Inc. et al and work with LADBSLos Angeles City Department of Building and Safety to provide data and queries.
Environmental Technologies Inc (ETIExploration Technologies Inc.) et al have remained in communications with Patricia McPherson regarding the oilfield / SCGSouthern California Gas Company/PDRPlaya Del Rey gas issues since then til the present. (GCGrassroots Coalition was in litigation with SCGSouthern California Gas Company/PDRPlaya Del Rey for roughly 8-9 years per the CPUCCalifornia Public Utilities Commission system of Complaint litigation—HENCE data dovetails)
1999-2000 Playa Vista was embroiled in a HOLD on all development due to the ongoing investigation of the underground gas issues of the Playa Vista site and surrounding lands including SoCalGasSouthern California Gas Company Ballona. to which the Wetlands Group Sierra Club -- Patricia McPherson & Kathy Knight raised these issues to LADBSLos Angeles City Department of Building and Safety and provided expert witnesses and documentation which led to precedent setting innovation by the City in bringing in an independent expert to provide first a peer review and then to perform the oilfield gas testing and ultimately to provide their expertise into the creation of a new methane code. The new Methane Code, in part experimental, as it was established that the Playa Vista site and Ballona Wetlands was one of the largest thermogenic (oilfield gas) seepage areas in the U.S. as cited by ETIExploration Technologies Inc..
(Clean Coastal Waters Task Force name had morphed into Coastal Protection Committee (’94) and later its subcommittee,(’96) Preserve Ballona Task Force and roughly during the 1999/2000 timeframe these members changed their title to the Airport Marina Group.)
LADBSLos Angeles City Department of Building and Safety ultimately disallowed any residential development over Ballona Wetlands west of Lincoln Blvd., over the SoCalGasSouthern California Gas Company underground gas storage area, which gave rise to a willing seller.
Playa Vista was engaged with Grey Davis in helping to promote the Proposition 50 and Proposition 12 Bond Funding which ultimately paid for the acquisition of Ballona as we now know it. Playa Vista (Playa Capital LLC Limited Liability Company- Wall Street moguls and Unions) were able to retrieve their profits from Ballona Wetlands from the sale of their land via receipt of the bond funds raised for that purpose. The land was sold by the Playa Vista moguls and was purchased with public funds that is stewarded by: State Lands Commission- Area C and the freshwater marsh system and an adjacent attached parcel; California Department of Fish & Wildlife stewards the remaining portions of land.
(Trust for Public Land was engaged in the negotiations for the purchase deals and had hired an independent oversight group to manage the Freshwater Marsh System. This independent group was short lived and was discontinued. TPLTrust for Public Land has no land holdings on behalf of the public. )
The freshwater marsh, Playa Vista’s flood control basin in Ballona Wetlands was already under trust agreement established in the 1990-1992 timeframe. (as cited in the USACEUnited States Army Corps of Engineers Permit Document)
2000 Kathy Knight's request to Marcia Hanscom. Kathy Knight participated in the fact finding and was requesting source materials used by M. Hanscom. Kathy requested that M. Hanscom give proper credit (attribution) to Grassroots Coalition and Sierra Club Airport Marina Group and that inaccuracies be corrected.
This email exchange, references a Building and Safety Commission Hearing. Multiple organizations provided challenges based upon Exploration Technologies Inc. findings on Ballona / Playa Vista. (videotaped hearing)
Grassroots Coaliton and Sierra Club provided additional investigative data including hydrogen sulfide data outgassing (Colich & Sons cited exposure and harm) and geysering (of outgassing) during drilling that Playa Vista had been denying ever occurred.
This hearing was not won per the 'err and abuse’ filed but was significantly unique for what was accomplished via comments by ETIExploration Technologies Inc. per the current code’s likely inability to protect against the high levels of outgassing in Ballona/ Playa Vista and concerns raised due to the data discovered by Grassroots Coalition/ Sierra Club AMGAirport Marina Group of the Sierra Club California Angeles Chapter. The outcome of the Hearing gave rise to the Commissioners citing ( transcripts) per Playa Vista leadership and consultants’ presentations - had presented a lot of a lot of false and misleading information. The comments from Commissioners determined that...it was a matter of urgency to update the methane code because it would not be able to deal with the high levels of gas outgassing at Playa Vista. This hearing gave rise to the NEW METHANE CODE...both Citywide and Playa Vista Methane Prevention Detection and Monitoring Program (Phase 1).
2000 ETIExploration Technologies Inc. / GAS STUDIES and multiple hearings before LA City Council, subcommittees and LADBSLos Angeles City Department of Building and Safety Commission Hearing. The Grassroots Coalition Hearing before the LADBSLos Angeles City Department of Building and Safety Commission PROVIDED for the language from LADBSLos Angeles City Department of Building and Safety Commissioner that -- a great deal of false and misleading language has been provided by Playa Capital Company — this hearing also led to ETIExploration Technologies Inc. testimony of the dangers of the oilfield outgassing for development of Ballona / Playa Vista. The acknowledgement of the new hazards and lack of sufficient mitigation, led to the creation of the new and, in part experimental methane code.
The Commissioners determined that... ’it was a matter of urgency’ to create a new methane code. This gave rise to a new and in part experimental methane code THAT - BUT FOR THE 50 FOOT VENT WELLS WORKING AS MITIGATION, THE SITE WAS CONSIDERED TOO DANGEROUS TO DEVELOP.
Since the 2007 City Controller’s Audit (see 2007) there is no demonstration that the mitigation measures work. In fact, during subsequent hearings and in later ETIExploration Technologies Inc. language, the required 50’ vent wells were, in fact, found not to function. This situation still needs address and is part of the AMGAirport Marina Group of the Sierra Club California Angeles Chapter’s line up of issues in need of address that are ongoing.
2000 LA CITY/ Responds to PRA from Patricia McPherson per Angelo Bellomo (then Safety Dept. for LAUSDLos Angeles Unified School District) request for DTSCCalifornia Department of Toxic Substances Control engagement at Playa Vista proposed school site. (Mr. Bellomo is presently leadership in the County Health Dept. and engaged on the RGCGrassroots Coalition 10 oil well blow out in Marina Del Rey 2019). Mr. Bellomo is on record per Playa Vista not being a place to put a school due to the high methane migration. (see NBCNational Broadcasting Company BURNING QUESTIONS) Knight, McPherson work with the Belmont Learning Center Complex (LAUSDLos Angeles Unified School District school site oilfield problems) representing Sierra Club during this time frame and working with the JLACJoint Legislative Audit Committee - California Senate / Assembly Committee - State Senator Hayden and Assemblyman Wildman. The work became instrumental in the actualization of an SEIRSubsequent Environmental Impact Report done on Belmont and ultimately the shutdown of the LAUSDLos Angeles Unified School District Toluca wells (4) and closure of half the proposed school site which became an open air park.
Investigation and communications with DOGGRDivision of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources - California Department of Conservation also by McPherson/Knight with oil/gas expert Dr. Bernard EndresBernard Endres Phd and Gas Migration Expert …were instrumental in documenting hazardous conditions which led to the abandonment of multiple oil wells in the Belmont Learning Center area neighborhood.
Knowledge and connections made during this timeframe were applicable to Ballona Wetlands / Playa Vista site and SoCalGasSouthern California Gas Company / Playa del Rey. The Playa Vista school site was twice rejected leading to oversight by DTSCCalifornia Department of Toxic Substances Control at the current site.
2001 Chief Legislative Analyst (CLAChief Legislative Analyst - California) Report Sierra Club supports and adds financial support to Grassroots Coalition - SEIRSubsequent Environmental Impact Report / CEQACalifornia Environmental Quality Act lawsuit against Playa Vista / EIREnvironmental Impact Report based upon new information/changed circumstance. GCGrassroots Coalition prevailed in the SEIRSubsequent Environmental Impact Report / CEQACalifornia Environmental Quality Act litigation AND currently pursues further groundwater and oilfield gas issues/ Public Trust problems associated with the private business known as the Ballona Wetlands Conservancy- a Playa Vista entity controlling the diversion and throw away of Ballona’s freshwater and its failure to monitor and abate oilfield gas leakage via their operations of University City Syndicate (poorly abandoned oil well currently acting as a conduit for oilfield gases surfacing in the marsh)
2002 USACEUnited States Army Corps of Engineers FOIAFreedom of Information Act RESPONSE (2017) per Land Acquisition of Ballona — citing a 2002 Nov. Public Scoping Meeting-City of LA — “the current proposed project is defined in anticipation that the Trust for Public Land (TPLTrust for Public Land) or the State will acquire the land formerly known as Playa Vista Area A and Area B (other than a 58-acre parcel comprised of the Freshwater Marsh and adjoining acreage that Playa Capital Company (PCCPlaya Capital Company) is already obligated to convey to the state independent of the TPLTrust for Public Land transaction). This would place all such lands in public ownership and long term open space preservation. As a result, the proposed project greatly reduces the proposed scale of the Playa Vista project by limiting development to the remaining portion of Area D, adjacent to the First PHASE PROJECT. IN SO DOING, ALL OF AREA B (OTHER THAN THE FRESHWATER MARSH), AND ALL OF AREA A AND AREA C ARE NO LONGER PART OF THE PLAYA VISTA PROJECT. (Emphasis added)
“WITH THE LAND SALE TO THE STATE, NO FUTURE IMPACTS TO FRESHWATER AND MIXED WETLANDS WOULD OCCUR IN AREAS A OR B, AND THEREFORE, THE 8.3 ACRES OF FRESHWATER AND MIXED WETLAND LOSS REFERENCED IN SPECIAL CONDITION 1 ALSO DID NOT OCCUR.” (Emphasis added) and, “With the elimination of authorized permanent impacts to waters of the United States in Areas B and C as well as any possibility of future impacts associated with the Playa Vista project in Areas A and B, the amount of required compensatory mitigation to offset the permanent loss of waters of the United States, including wetlands, is reduced substantially. (Enclosure 1 - letter dated July 18, 2003)” Emphasis added.)
(This is currently still significant due to the fact that the State Plan has direct intentions of harm to the freshwater aspects of Ballona and because Playa Vista (& CDFWCalifornia Department of Fish and Wildlife) has demonstrably harmed Ballona via the illegal drainage within the Reserve (CCCCalifornia Coastal Commission Letter 4/11/14—also the basis for the prevailing litigation against Playa Vista and CDFW)
2001 Sierra Club / Grassroots Coalition Collaborative instrumental in garnering the new CITYWIDE METHANE CODE for the City of Los Angeles based upon the NEW and in part experimental, Playa Vista Phase 1 Methane Code dubbed—Playa Vista Methane Prevention Detection and Monitoring Program.
2001 Garnered via approval by City Council—METHANE MITIGATION CODE OVERSIGHT BY PUBLIC TASK FORCE (This Task Force met briefly and has been stalled by LADBSLos Angeles City Department of Building and Safety (new oversight). Councilman Rosendahl working with McPherson and Knight reinstated this group which met again briefly and was again thwarted by LADBSLos Angeles City Department of Building and Safety for meaningful discussion and fulfillment of purpose. It remains as an approved Task Force that is available per the public engagement to do so.
2001 Letter from SIERRA CLUB BALLONA WETLANDS TASK FORCE and Wetlands Action Network is submitted to City of LA per the ongoing ETIExploration Technologies Inc. gas discussions and LA City actions / CLAChief Legislative Analyst - California Report. Signed by Roy Van de Hoek as chair and Hanscom for Wetlands Action Network. The use of this title in 2001 may have been a forerunner to a formation of the Ballona Wetlands Restoration Committee.
2001-2003 Documents reveal 2001, the original members of CCWTFClean Coastal Waters Task Force - Sierra Club California Angeles Chapter / Wetlands Committee. (IE. Patricia McPherson, Kathy Knight, Leslie Purcell, had maintained an ongoing SCSierra Club presence as the name of the group changed) According to docs reviewed, the Coastal Protection Committee / Preserve Ballona Wetlands Task Force name switched and or divided into the Airport Marina Group (as established in the 2000 Southern Sierran article by Rex Frankel). The earlier title(s) Clean Coastal Waters Task Force / Wetlands subcommittee to Coastal Protection Committee (’94) with its subcommittee ’96, Preserve Ballona Wetlands Task Force.
It remains unclear how, or in what document the name...Ballona Wetlands Restoration Committee was created. It would seem logical that it occurred after the land was garnered via the public acquisition of Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve.
2003 documents cited below also demonstrate the change to AIRPORT MARINA REGIONAL GROUP.
1999-2000 Sierra Club Airport Marina Group…Patricia McPherson and Kathy Knight engage the California Debt Limit Allocation (CDLACCalifornia Debt Limit Allocation Committeei) bond issues in Sacramento via the City Controller Office of Kathleen Connell. (Day of vote on CDLACCalifornia Debt Limit Allocation Committeei use for Fountain Park Apartments) Playa Vista issues of gas that are part and parcel of all of Ballona are brought to the attention of Kathleen Connell, first during the bonds vote for Playa Vista Phase one…Fountain Park Apartments (CDLACCalifornia Debt Limit Allocation Committeei Bonds..) McPherson and Knight on behalf of SCSierra Club attend LA City Meetings regarding all bond issues. Due to the oilfield gas issues of Ballona being raised by McPherson and Knight — Kathleen Connell reflects her concerns (LETTER stating that had she known, she would not have voted approval…) in the bond approvals and gives rise to a State Lands Commission investigation of the gas issues which entails all the ongoing work of the City of LA and ETIExploration Technologies Inc..
2000-2001 Kathleen Connell arranged for the Loyola Meeting during which video taken by McPherson highlighted outgassing at Fountain Park Apartments. (see Jill Stewart 2001, Belmont II.., Playa Vista article. Controller Connell also expressed concerns regarding the oilfield gas issues, citing the need for further investigation (Ms. Connell's directive gave rise to the State Lands Commission investigation of the Playa Vista / Ballona gas issues.)
2000 and next couple of years---NBCNational Broadcasting Company-BURNING QUESTIONS — pertaining to the oilfield gas issues and water issues of Ballona Wetlands / SOCALGASSouthern California Gas Company / Playa del Rey and Playa Vista. Loretta Lynch of CPUCCalifornia Public Utilities Commission per McPherson / Knight / EndresBernard Endres Phd and Gas Migration Expert prevailing litigation against SOCALGASSouthern California Gas Company/Playa del Rey. This litigation provided for the precedent setting mitigation monitoring by SCG Southern California Gas Company/ PDRPlaya Del Rey to which is ongoing and in part has yet to be enforced per gas testing within the aquifers.
Peabody Award, Edward R. Morrow and numerous other awards given to NBCNational Broadcasting Company LOS ANGELES for this series of multiple year broadcasts of investigative work by NBCNational Broadcasting Company and McPherson / Knight / Vosburg, and others of the Sierra Club / Grassroots Coalition / Spirit of the Sage Council collaborative work product.
2001 to Present Have been engaged to empower the Baldwin Hills Community per the CSD and actions pertaining to the oilfield operations here and became part of and helped bring together other entities being adversely impacted due to oilfield contamination issues—using data and information garnered via SCGSouthern California Gas Company/PDRPlaya Del Rey and other oilfield gas problems throughout the City of LA..ie. Belmont; Miracle Mile enhanced (steam) oil recovery which gave rise to leakage to the surface throughout the overlying neighborhood; Fairfax area; Ross Dress For Less and nearby examples to which the expert-Bernard EndresBernard Endres Phd and Gas Migration Expert Phd was instrumental as both his expertise and his engagement in the Ross-Dress-For-Less litigation - establishing the true cause as thermogenic gas migration. Via collaboration of SCSierra Club and GCGrassroots Coalition provided educational outreach to the public, the City of LA and agencies with expert materials recovered from litigation etc made available via 1st hand engagement and via documentation provided by Bernard EndresBernard Endres Phd and Gas Migration Expert PhD Gas Migration Expert and John Robertson Petroleum Engineer.
2003 Sierra Club Airport Marina Group meetings in Sacramento; Wetlands Recovery Meetings in Sacramento - Jeanette Vosburg, Leslie Purcell; meetings with multiple electeds: State Assemblywoman Hannah-Beth-Jackson; Assemblyman Michael Endicott; State Senator Debra Bowen (aide Evan Goldberg); Assembyman Nakano (aide C. Walden); Phil Angelides (State Treasurer's office); Secretary of Resources, Mary Nichols over Ballona Wetland issues, provide DVDDigital Video Disc of Gas Hearing; Racine Tek discussion with EndresBernard Endres Phd and Gas Migration Expert Phd per SCGSouthern California Gas Company leakage of reservoir gases.
2003 DRAFT LANGUAGE FOR THE ACQUISITION of Playa Vista owned lands of BALLONA WETLANDS…Coalition of Groups working on drafting language together.(see scan)
2003-4 The Ballona Wetlands acquisition deal was struck. However, numerous elements of this deal remain at odds with Public Trust benefits and protection for Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve and the State Lands Commission property which is also Public Trust land/water THAT has also been harmed, as decided by the California Coastal Commission.
The Airport Marina Regional Group continues to address this matter as the freshwater elements of Ballona have been harmed by Playa Vista drainage and diversion. CDFWCalifornia Department of Fish and Wildlife was also sued by Grassroots Coalition and supported by the AM Group in this prevailing endeavor that has proven via California Coastal Commission decisions that the drainage and diversion of Ballona’s freshwaters by Playa Vista and CDFWCalifornia Department of Fish and Wildlife has harmed Ballona Wetlands hydrology and its habitat/wildlife dependent upon it. (CCCCalifornia Coastal Commission Letter)
2003-4 Sierra Club AMGAirport Marina Group of the Sierra Club California Angeles Chapter in collaboration with Grassroots Coalition and groups listed below hosted BARBARA BOXER at Jeanette Vosburg's HOME; thereafter, Sen. Boxer followed up with her SoCal Chief of Staff, Leannah Bradley attending a briefing by these groups on the undeveloped portions of Ballona Wetlands. As a result, Ms. Bradley provided support for engaging (along with help from Laura Faitel Cimo) with Senator Feinstein and Chris Thompson re: APPROPRIATIONS for funding. This letter request was for appropriations that would fund acquisition of further Ballona Ecosystem land. There was a window of opportunity as expressed by the elected that was available for such. The ongoing negotiations for Ballona lands held by Playa Vista, were ongoing and all parties were working in a concerted effort for the land along with other organizations. The Playa Vista properties were directly influenced for their usage by the City of Los Angeles and the ongoing issues of the discovery of and handling of the, in part-experimental oilfield gas mitigation needed. ETIExploration Technologies Inc. & LADBSLos Angeles City Department of Building and Safety as part of the outcome of the studies and CLAChief Legislative Analyst - California Report had determined that no lands west of LINCOLN BLVD. would be allowed for residential buildout due to the underlying hazards of the SCGSouthern California Gas Company underground gas storage operations. The Playa Vista interests had become willing sellers during the term of ETIExploration Technologies Inc. studies of 1999-2000 and had been advocating the sale of their property. The worth of the property was at stake and the opportunity to acquire more land became well apparent.
Unfortunately, certain member(s) of the coalition of groups took it upon themselves to work on the Deal without informing or collaborating with the larger group--to buy the Playa Vista properties —unbeknownst to the rest of the coalition until too late and deals had already been struck to the advantage of Playa Vista and the state thereafter lagged in their desire to provide further funding for further lands. At the time of the SCSierra Club AM Group et al letter, there was the belief that Ballona would not cost as much as it ended up costing and that available remaining funding would be used for eg. the Bluffs acquisition. This did not come to pass unfortunately.
2004 March SCSierra Club/Airport Marina Group in collaboration with Grassroots Coalition; Ballona Wetlands Land Trust; West Bluff Conservancy; Ballona Ecosystem Education Project communicate with Senator Barbara Boxer.
2005 Office Emergency Response Services (OESOffice Emergency Services - California ) Report 1st submitted by McPherson per the oilfield outgassing in the Freshwater Marsh of Ballona.
2005 Oct. Appeal Court Win per environmental issues that are a part of Playa Vista and Ballona Wetlands—geotechnical includes gas / dewatering. This lawsuit, started years earlier was supported by Angeles Chapter which also provided financial support.
2007 LA City Audit was achieved of the Playa Vista Methane Mitigation Measures for Phase 1 and 2. City Controller Chick (also part of the NBCNational Broadcasting Company News Series Power Politics) This Audit’s conclusions cited that there was no data support to demonstrate the Playa Vista gas mitigation systems worked properly/ were installed and/or are maintained.
SIERRA CLUB AIRPORT MARINA GROUP and GRASSROOTS COALITION in collaboration attended LA City hearings thereafter to further the need to have adequate accountability and transparency per the gas mitigation measures. This work continues.
2007-? Sacramento…PROPOSED NEW UNDERGROUND GAS STORAGE, engaged per comments and meetings with both LA City Department officials interfacing with Councilmember and the community proposed for the new storage area. Engaged experts for help to empower the community. The proposed Sacramento Storage Operations were ultimately withdrawn and discontinued as a proposal for this area.
2010 2nd OESOffice Emergency Services - California REPORT per same but gas has become enhanced in area directly over the abandoned well (by Playa Vista) University City Syndicate
This timeline includes but is not limited to the actions cited above. The actions are documented, (documentation is available upon request.) The documentation for actions cited have been scanned but are too voluminous to send in any single electronic mailing. 2007 is left as a rough stopping point only for purposes of a need to end the timeline of the earlier years of Sierra Club engagement on Ballona issues. The AMGAirport Marina Group of the Sierra Club California Angeles Chapter has a well documented presence of its work on Ballona also from 2007 to the present.
Patricia McPherson, Sierra Club Airport Marina Group / Grassroots Coalition