Appearing on The Beast 980 AM with Fred Roggin, Carson Mayor Albert Robles downplayed the contamination of the site during the midday broadcast. In addition to being the mayor of Carson, CA, Robles is also on the board of the Water Replenishment District. He is also a lawyer. Robles also revealed the contaminated land was sold to the Chargers for a couple of dollars.
So the Chargers and Raiders are buying two separate pieces of property. The 11-acre non-landfill area was purchased for about $20 million. How much did they get the remaining 157 acres of landfill for?
According to federal law, if you purchase a piece of contaminated land, you are responsible for it and therefore liable if anything like an environmental disaster occurs on it. With help from the city of Carson, the Chargers and Raiders found a way to shield themselves from any such litigation.
Why this won’t work: Ujima Village
Ujima Village sat atop of the old Athens Tank Farm. The land was used to hold oil, above ground, which seeped into the soil over a 40 year period. After developing the land, the De Lay family defaulted on a HUD backed loan and HUD took control of the property. HUD would then sell the land to LA County for $1 and conditions they would not be held liable for environmental concerns.
The developers built the livable space on the portion of the land they thought was the least contaminated. Wrong again. The residents got sick and Golden State Water said the water was safe.
By 2004, Ujima Village needed extensive work and LA County tried to unload the property to developers. They were smart and ran tests on the soil. When they found out it was contaminated, the deal was off.
Makes you wonder who supplied the EIR for the San Diego Chargers to enter such an agreement? A faulty EIR was just thrown out, which justified building the Millenium Towers, on top of an earthquake fault line, in Hollywood, CA.
In 2012, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas vowed to get justice for the residents of Ujima Village. Who is getting justice for Carson residents?
By 2010 over 700 plaintiffs filed toxic tort claims against Exxon Mobil, LA County and others, yet the defendants argued the residents should have known the land was toxic. The defendants also filed to have approx 60 lawsuits thrown out over time limits to file.
In 2013, the courts reversed that decision and allowed the plaintiffs to continue in their lawsuit.
Should Carson residents expect more from their elected officials, especially one who understands better than anyone, ramifications of contaminated water.