Boeing faces costly penalty

first_imgBoeing Co. faces a nearly half-million-dollar fine for allowing excessive levels of lead, mercury and other toxins to flow from its Santa Susana Field Lab into the exclusive West Valley community of Bell Canyon and the Los Angeles River, regulators said Wednesday. If Boeing is forced to pay it, it would be among the largest fines levied against the lab owner for environmental violations. Following up on a directive earlier this year from state regulators, Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board staffers proposed fining Boeing $471,190 for 79 water-quality violations over 15 months. Staffers doubled the mandatory minimum penalty because of the toxicity and frequency of the pollution violations from October 2004 to January 2006. “Really, the issue here is that they should have been able to stop the violations a long time ago,” said Michael Levy, senior counsel to the L.A. water board. Boeing officials said they are evaluating the proposed fine, which they can appeal. The regional board can hear the appeal and adjust the fine or the board can send it to the state Attorney General’s Office. Boeing has been under scrutiny over surface water pollution for several years. In late 2005, the company admitted in business filings that it was being investigated by a federal grand jury over potential water-quality problems. The grand jury subpoenaed its storm-water pollution monitoring records. The investigation is ongoing. In a separate case, the company paid the L.A. regional water board $39,000 in fines for surface water pollution in 2002. Lab watchdogs have complained that Boeing continued to rack up violations without penalties in recent years. News of the proposed fine pleased activists, but they questioned whether it will change the company’s cleanup and pollution-containment methods. “This is a dramatic sign that Boeing has willfully and repeatedly violated the pollution laws of the state,” said Dan Hirsch with the Committee to Bridge the Gap. “It is clearly not enough to change Boeing’s behavior and the company is likely to spend far more than that in attorneys’ fees fighting the fine.” Runoff permit at issue At issue is Boeing’s permit regulating storm and industrial water running off the hilltop lab into neighboring creeks that eventually drain into the Los Angeles River and the Arroyo Simi. Used for rocket-engine testing and nuclear research since the 1940s, the lab has extensive contamination in the soil and groundwater, prompting concern that heavy metal and chemicals could move off site in surface water. The state issued Boeing a water-quality permit in 2004, and tightened restrictions in 2006. State officials said the lab had violated provisions of the 2004 permit more than 100 times, with higher-than-allowed levels of mercury, dioxins and other contaminants. But Boeing has said many of those violations were from naturally occurring levels of heavy metals and chemicals in the soil, as well as residue from the 2005 Topanga Fire that burned more than two-thirds of the 2,800-acre hilltop site. `Cumulative risk to wildlife’ Nevertheless, the state directed the Los Angeles board to fine Boeing for higher-than-allowed levels of chromium, dioxin, lead, mercury, radioactive strontium 90 and other contaminants. The proposed fine covers 79 violations from October 2004 through January 2006. Water officials said the violations pose a risk over time. “There’s not any imminent health threat, but there is certainly a cumulative risk to wildlife,” said Deborah Smith, interim executive officer for the board. She added that fish can accumulate toxins and can pose a risk to humans who eat the fish. Bell Canyon residents said they were glad regulators are closely monitoring the situation and maintaining high standards for water quality. “We’re pleased to see the Regional Water Quality Control Board is putting up some pretty rigorous fences for people to jump through,” said Ginger Oldham, president of the Bell Canyon Association Board of Directors. Board member Michael Bubman said he wants to hear Boeing’s response to the proposed fine, adding that residents in the gated community don’t use Bell Creek for recreation. “Nobody uses it like that. It’s just an attractive creek through the canyon.” [email protected] (213) 978-0390160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img


first_imgTom Melvin and Jemma Jordan meeting Clodagh Barry and some of the horses that will be taking part in Clodaghs 100 mile challenge to raise funds for Donegal Down Syndrome Association”Newtowncunningham teenager, Clodagh Barry today takes on the challenge of going over 100 miles on horse back in just 24hours setting out from the most North Western point in Donegal, the lighthouse on Arranmore Island to the most Northerly point in Donegal, Malin head.This event is to raise funds for Donegal Downs syndrome Association.Clodagh’s route will begin in Arranmore on Friday 21st of February, leaving the lighthouse at 11.30am. Following the short ferry trip, which will also be done on horseback! She will leave Burtonport at 1.30. Her route will take her through Dungloe, Doochary, Glenveagh, Churchill, planning to get to Letterkenny about 11pm.She will then proceed through Newtowncunningham, Burnfoot, Buncrana, to Fort Dunree, Mamore Gap, Clonmany, Malin and on to Malin Head, planning to reach there shortly after 1.30pm on Saturday.This route may be a little longer than the direct route, but as she is traveling on horseback, she is keen to stay off the main roads as much as possible.Due to the vast distance involved, Clodagh will be using more than one horse and would like to thank those that have offered the use of their horses for parts of the route. At various points along her route she will be joined by other horse and pony support riders. She would appeal to road users to be aware that there will be horses on the roads day and night in the County, to exercise caution and if they meet horses on the road, to please slow down and give them room. We would also appeal to vehicle drivers NOT to beep their car horns, but feel free to wave madly at her!!A Facebook event has been created called ‘Arranmore Island to Malin Head on Horseback’ where the full route will be documented and approximate arrival times along the route will be added. If anyone wishes to walk, run, cycle or ride on horseback with Clodagh along any portion of the route, they are welcome to join.All sponsorship for this uniquely Donegal event would be greatly appreciated and if you or your business would like to donate, you can contact Liam Barry at 0872634301. You can also donate to this event at or directly to the Donegal Downs Syndrome Association at Convent Road, Letterkenny. CLODAGH SADDLES UP FOR HER EPIC JOURNEY ACROSS DONEGAL! was last modified: February 20th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Clodagh BarryhorseNewtowcunninghamlast_img read more