By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
This is representative of many other internal documents that reveal surprise after surprise regarding the discovery of dangerous levels of oil-field gases during the grading and construction phase.
Methane specialist John Sepich was hired to design a methane-monitoring and -ventilation system. However, this system was designed to deal with the methane problem only, and was limited to only some of the buildings.
Even if the planned mitigation system had been installed, it would have been highly defective. Recent smoke tests performed at the installation of the Liquid Boot product for gas control at a housing project currently under construction confirmed the product to be highly defective because it had many leaks, even immediately after installation.
The hydrogen-sulfide mitigation system installed at Hoag Hospital site in Newport Beach, California, provides some insight into these problems. Gas-migration problems, including hydrogen sulfide, were carefully studied over a 10-year period before construction began. Vent pipes were installed below ground using an active suction system. Huge scrubbers were installed to deal with the enormous problems created by the presence of hydrogen sulfide. The efforts of LAUSD in downplaying the significance of hydrogen sulfide means that the environmental studies will have to be reevaluated. Millions of additional dollars will be required to evaluate this problem alone. Furthermore, there is no assurance that a solution can be found. All of the evidence reveals that the site cannot be mitigated for hydrogen sulfide.
Measurements have revealed that the hydrogen-sulfide levels are increasing with time. Accordingly, the enormous problems in dealing with this gas could become worse. There have been no studies to evaluate this potential disaster. What can be predicted with certainty is that the cost impacts will dominate the ultimate costs required to provide mitigation for the site.Bernard Endres is an oil, gas and environmental consultant (see "The Experts") frequently cited by Belmont opponents as providing the scientific basis for their assertions that the Belmont project is unsalvageable and that the site would be extremely dangerous no matter what was done to address the environmental problems.
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