2014 CPEO Brownfields List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:58:35 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-brownfields
Subject: [CPEO-BIF] "Autumnwood [California]: A Community Living in Toxic Fear and Uncertainty"
Autumnwood: A Community Living in Toxic Fear and Uncertainty

By Daniel Ross
April 16, 2014

Autumnwood is a show-home suburbia of stucco fronts and primly kept lawns nestled in the heart of Wildomar, California, about an hour and a half southeast of Los Angeles. Tranquil, sleepy, Autumnwood could be a poster-child for any modern housing tract. But beneath the façade, Autumnwood is a community riven by a fear held by many that the land on which the houses were built is contaminated with toxic chemicals. And despite the findings of two separate governmental agencies, more questions continue to be raised than have thus far been answered.

Since the first tenants moved into Autumnwood a little over eight years ago, a rash of serious illnesses, sometimes fatal, have pockmarked the community. Take Amaryllis Court - an eleven-home cul- de-sac bookending one corner of Autumnwood. In those eight years at Amaryllis Court alone, two women in their thirties have died from complications arising from pneumonia, while a number of families have fled their homes and many of their belongings after suffering for years with chronic illnesses.


What has fueled this climate of fear and uncertainty is what some regard as negligence on the part of the one agency that should have provided swift answers: the Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC). Despite concerns about toxic contamination arising as far back as the early part of 2012, the DTSC didn't conduct their own study at Autumnwood until November of last year. But as certain residents and experts pore over the raw data of that November study, they say that a number of findings are emerging that suggest that the investigation was flawed and that the DTSC have doctored the data to mask the full extent of the contamination. As the question marks continue to hover over Autumnwood, the closure that many residents desperately want seems an all-too-distant and expensive mirage.


For the entire article, see
http://truth-out.org/news/item/23134-autumnwood-a-community-living-in- toxic-fear-and-uncertainty


Lenny Siegel
Executive Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
a project of the Pacific Studies Center
278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/961-8918

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