To the Editor
Re: Superfund Response To Cheveron Rep
I was told about Ms Klinchuch's response to my letter and feel it is important to address things she says because I believe there are some holes in her story. I will use her own words to categorically address things she has said. She begins by saying,
”Mr. Ryan Shiells' November 8 letter expressed concern that dust from Chevron’s work at the former Texaco refinery in Fillmore is affecting nearby neighbors. I can assure Mr. Shiells and the community that dust is not drifting off our site and there is no cause for concern. The safety of the community and our site workers is our top priority.” My response to Ms Klinchuch is: Do you really expect for me, or anyone else for that matter, to believe that a for-profit company’s TOP priority is the safety of the community and not profit? I am not even blaming Chevron for the original pollution, as I have always believed it occurred during Texaco’s watch, but the fact remains that Chevron now owns that liability and by responding to my letter with mistruths, Ms Klinchuch would’ve been better served to leave well enough alone. As far as Ms Klinchuch’s assurances are concerned, I am extremely suspicious when it comes to taking her word at face value, especially considering that her employer has a tremendous vested interest in sweeping this under the rug. Remember: I have lived and know many people in that area whereas you most certainly don't. I have seen many people in that neighborhood suffer from Cancer and other strange diseases and have attended funerals for those people, you have not.
Perhaps it would be best at this time to provide readers with the EPA’s own definition of a Superfund site: “A Superfund site is an uncontrolled or abandoned place where hazardous waste is located, POSSIBLY AFFECTING LOCAL ECOSYSTEMS OR PEOPLE." Anyone who wants to verify this can go to the EPA's website if need-be.
Mrs Klinchurch says “We recognize that our site activities can generate dust, so we follow an EPA-approved dust control and air monitoring plan which includes several ways of making sure that dust is contained within the site. For example, water trucks spray water on active work areas to contain the dust. If conditions are too windy, we stop our work until conditions improve.” I believe that this is a flat out attempt to mislead the community and revise history as to what had actually transpired. I wrote my letter to the Editor on November 5th of this year…the same period the east winds were whipping from an east to west direction for a number of consecutive days. I noticed the sounds of heavy equipment operating during the same time kids were playing at recess. I then walked towards the area witnessed dust flow from the site towards children played on the schoolyard. I am pretty confident that, unlike myself and other solid witnesses who will come forward to dispute your misleading claims, you were nowhere near the area at this time. It would've been better for Ms Klinchuch to say nothing than to contradict what I witnessed by conveying misleading and untrue statements to the public. Now I have to set the record straight to the detriment of your credibility because your false account of what happened was at a detriment to mine.
Ms Klinchuch says “We have nine air monitoring stations that continuously monitor for dust during our field work. No site dust or chemicals have been detected in any of the air samples collected.” Ms Klinchuch, since “we” includes yourself, the same person who misleadingly claimed there are work-stoppages on windy days, I simply can’t take your word on this or anything else regarding that site. Simply put, Ms Klinchuch makes a living representing the interests of Chevron, NOT the citizens of Fillmore. The people conducting these studies have a vested interest in obtaining information that is favorable to the company and to their objectives. Think about it folks: How long would a pollution assessment company last in the industry that had a reputation for making things difficult for the company they are contracted to work for? It's common sense. Chevron has given a large amount of money (ask yourselves why) to the City of Fillmore and as they say in economics “There is no such thing as a free lunch.” There are ulterior motives here. As I understand it, and feel free to correct me if I am wrong Ms Klinchurch, Chevron has been working for years with the City of Fillmore in hopes that Fillmore will one day unwittingly assume ownership of that highly contaminated area. My interpretation of this is that Chevron is eager to release their liability on this site and they are relying on a general public ignorance of this topic and a weakened and unsuspecting (but not entirely I have found) Fillmore City government to roll over for them. The cat is out of the bag now Ms Klinchuch and it seems as if its about to get worse. You can thank me later for the overtime Ms Klinchuch.
In conclusion, whoever reads this should find it odd that a rep from the great Chevron has taken the time to respond to my letter in an attempt to allay my concerns. We should be asking ourselves why the same company is giving tens of thousands of dollars to various organizations within the City? We should find it alarming that at one point years ago, the EPA came to San Cayetano school and made teachers and some employees sign a release of liability pertaining to that site and any potential weird diseases they may one-day become afflicted with. That is not standard procedure and was done because they (EPA) knew there was a problem. Is it not alarming that parents of children at this school or people who live in that surrounding community were NOT given the same warnings? Is it not a little strange that people had to dress in outfits which closely resembled space suits in order to clean that SUPER FUND site up? I maintain everything I wrote in my original letter Ms Klinchuch and, depending on the level of misinformation provided in your response to this letter, I am willing to go further (and trust me, I can) to prove myself right - and unlike yourself I am not receiving a paycheck to say the things I am saying. I am saying these things - free of charge - because my conscious mandates it and because the community needs to know.