EHN [of California]
P.O. Box 1155
Larkspur, California, 94977-0074
Support and Information Line
January 27, 2003Mayor Anthony Intintoli
Councilmembers Cloutier, Davis
Donahue, Pitts, Rey, and Schivley
555 Santa Clara Street
Vallejo, CA 94590
Dear Mayor Anthony Intintoli and Councilmembers:
Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility feasibility study
The Environmental Health Network (EHN - www.ehnca.org), Larkspur, California, advocates on behalf of people who have already learned the absolute need for Cleaner Air -- outdoors and in. Our members live with various debilitating and disabling facets of Environmental Illness -- devastating effects of air pollution.
EHN understands that before you is a vote for a feasibility study only, but all too often such a study is tantamount to the development of the project. So let us look to the "What IFs," as an LNG Facility demands thought beyond the lure of construction dollars -- your modern day siren, named Bechtel.
Vallejo constituency deserves a "NO" vote based upon more than just the fact that ugly tanks will be dominating the southern end of Mare Island. Considerable pollution will be the region's if the proposed facility becomes reality. Joshua Wolfson of the Vallejo Times, informs us that "Solano asthma rates [are the] highest in [the] state." An LNG facility would further jeopardize the health and welfare of members of your community -- those already ill, as well as your still healthy -- and it has the potential for affecting people throughout the northern Bay Area.
Contemplating an LNG facility requires study of the air pollution generated by ongoing arrivals and departures of LNG tankers and their shepherds -- in the water and in the air: tugs, Coast Guard vessels and helicopters (and who knows what other military protection will be deemed necessary). Also, the area will need perpetual dredging to accommodate the enormous tankers. The dredgers will emit diesel pollution, contaminate the bayshore ecosystem and create a serious risk to general safety as there is a veritable arsenal dumped in the area. Helicopters and the facility itself would become sources of light pollution. Plus, an LNG facility will rob the people of open park land, and the creatures of Mare Island and its bayshore will be deprived of their habitat.
Imagine the air, water, light, noise and sight pollution that will be Vallejo's if an LNG facility becomes more than a Bechtel request for a feasibility study and moves into reality. But, there's more to judge than just this picture of pollution, despite the fact that that alone is enough for you to vote "No" to the feasibility study. An LNG facility would put the safety of not only Vallejo citizens at risk, but people throughout the Bay Area. What's to happen if there is a shipping accident at the Gate or in the Bay, an unloading failure, a pool fire, a storage tank rupture, a terrorist attack? Vallejo and the Bay Area could be exposed to a vapor cloud, fire, or thermal radiation -- all capable of causing adverse effects varying distances from the source of leak or conflagration. Think SAFETY. Vote NO.
As is so often the case, measures to help our most vulnerable populations help everyone. In this case, we see a "No" vote as a very positive action for the people of Vallejo who are already living with respiratory illnesses; for the Bay Area community as a whole; for the tourists Mare Island's Reuse Plan would surely attract; for our flora and fauna, which also share our planet. EHN requests that you vote "No" to the LNG Feasibility Study as we ALL are stakeholders when it comes to breathing.
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