Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Pondering the PEA for SRHS 15

The Preliminary Environmental Assessment (PEA) for the proposed South Region High School No. 15 (SRHS 15) has been published and is currently going through its public comment period.

At approximately 8,000 pages in length, the good folks at the Office of Environmental Health and Safety (OEHS) have allowed a 10-day extension of the comment period, now set to end on September 15, 2008.

If you have interest in learning about the PEA and making your own comments, you can find copies of the document at the usual suspect sites of S.P.H.S., the L.A. Public Library on Gaffey, or you can request an electronic copy of the document by sending and Email to Mr. Christer Loftenius at:

You can also look at the document by visiting:

The PEA is a State of California required document that is independent of a 'CEQA' document stream, and having an environmental assessment done on the proposed campus' site is a major requirement.

The acceptance of the proposed site for the construction of a new high school campus is dependent on the outcome of the environmental assessments and not controlled by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) or its board.

If the site fails to meet standards set by the State or cannot have mitigation accomplished to accommodate construction, then the plans for building SRHS 15 at that site, will fail.

The site will most probably pass all required inspections or be approved of due to mitigation of any problems found.

There is an approved expansion of the Point Fermin Outdoor Education Center on the LAUSD-owned land and it sits in an area very comparable to the site preferred for for SRHS 15.

There are those in the community who will continue to do battle on the PEA, but there are others who are going to wait until the Removal Action Work plan is brought up, commented on, and considered.

Between the PEA and the work plan adoption to mitigate any problems found on the land, in the buildings, or the air within the soils, there will be a Supplemental Site Investigation that will provide further study to the approximately 10% of the items that the preliminary assessment found needed further study.

During the hearing for the PEA, the district's representative, Mr. Tom Watson claimed that during the removal actions, all dump trucks will be covered and even their tires would be cleaned before they traveled through San Pedro.

It is during the removal and clearing phase, IF it ever happens, where community members will need to be diligent monitors that the contractors who do the work, conform to the laws and regulations.

Mr. Watson also contended that the site for the proposed campus on the Upper Reservation of Fort MacArthur seems to be more like proposed high school sites in the San Fernando Valley and no where nearly as environmentally troubling as other proposed sites like in the southern area of Los Angeles.

I guess Mr. Watson didn't realize he was dealing with a proposed high school site in the most southern place in all of Los Angeles.

No matter I guess. Both Mr. Watson and the engineer from the contracting firm that did the site survey and analysis work both think the site is 'clean' as compared to most sites they have seen.

If you wish to contact the Environmental Assessment Coordinator for the SRHS 15 project, please contact:

Mr. Christer Loftenius, Environmental Assessment Coordinator
LAUSD Office of Environmental Health and Safety
1055 West 7th Street, 9th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90017

Phone: 213-893-7045
Fax: 213-893-7412


Since I am a strong advocate for the expansion and uses of the Point Fermin Outdoor Education Center and it received full approval for expansion and programs for resident-students, I don't feel I have a real dog in the hunt, concerning the PEA.

I think we all need to be very careful as we progress into and with the Removal Action Work plan when it comes out in about '5-6 months' according to Mr. Watson.

That document will need to be read and commented on because it is the work plan that states what will be done to the area, the neighborhood, and to the site, concerning the removal of environmental hazards, buildings, and other things that WILL affect the area.

In other news, the Draft Environmental Impact Report for SRHS 15 will be available on or after August 22, 2008.

There will be some CDs of the report that I will copy and offer to folks who would like one. You would have to send me an Email at the address on the top of this blog, if you want one.

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