Ballona Wetlands

Playa Del Rey Gas Storage Facility is a hazardous threat. + Responses

Playa Del Rey Gas Storage Facility is a hazardous threat.
– from John Davis

– From our July 2017 issue.

Playa Vista is classified as the operator of this well, as it was Playa Vista that reabandoned the leaky oil well last.
And, the City of LA reimbursed Playa Capital LLC for the reabandonment cost while the well leaked and continues to be a conduit for leakage of methane, benzene, toluene and H2S to the surface.

When Exploration Technologies Inc ( City of LA peer reviewer and expert) first tested for soil gases in this area, the values were relatively low. Since the reabandonment by Playa Vista, which included a blow-out at depth, the well has continued to leak and the area has increasing volumes of gas being emitted to the atmosphere and contaminating the water. The Playa Vista school site, during the ETI initial studies also had lower gas emissions back then, than today as the gas emissions continued to grow from ETI’s initial testing to later testing of the same area.

The Playa Vista school site is a Level 3 gas hazard site, the highest of the City of LA Methane Code. The riparian corridor, adjacent to the school also has continual gas emissions as can be seen via continuous bubbling up through the waters.
Community is also a well across the street to the east of University City Syndicate and near the school and within the footprint of one of Playa Vista’s development projects.

How have the gas values being emitted from Community changed over the past few years?

What is CD 11 doing to alleviate these hazards?

Grassroots Coalition has requested to meet with CD 11, Mike Bonin regarding the oilfield gas issues of Ballona and Playa Vista for over 7 months with no response from CD 11.

Grassroots Coalition continues to request a meeting with CD 11and continues to relay oil and gas field information to CD 11 and our local electeds both for awareness, and in hopes of discussion with them.

Re: “Fish and Wildlife Vs. Coastal Commission,” John Davis, August, 2017, p. 4
Restoration of the Ballona Wetlands to a freshwater marsh is a very bad idea. Still recovering last year from a near fatal attack of West Nile virus (WNV), I discovered there were a record number of mosquitos recorded in the Wetlands last summer. We do not have adequate mosquito control (I understand Vector Control, the agency responsible for local mosquito abatement, has ceded the Wetlands to a local group).

I live in Venice adjacent to the beach and know of three deaths within a mile of my home in October, 2015, alone as well as other cases that have survived but have not been counted in the Public Health statistics. I have spoken face to face to Councilman Mike Bonin, County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and State Senator Ben Allen and to the health advisor for Congressman Ted Lieu in Washington, DC, about the problem and been told there are no funds for mosquito abatement in spite of LA City and County leading the country in cases and deaths from WNV. San Joaquin County north of us had two deaths last year and had aerial spraying. Yes, there are safe sprays (10 cleared by the FDA). LA County has had aerial spraying with malathion twice in recent years when the Mediterranean fruit fly threatened local agriculture.
Fresh and brackish water marshes are a public health hazard, while saltwater marshes offer safety. I do not support the Grassroots Coalition plan to restore Ballona Creek to a freshwater wetlands. Zika, chikungunya, yellow fever or malaria are not local problems yet unless we encourage the mosquito population to flourish. As a physician dedicated to health maintenance and disease prevention, I oppose restoration of certain natural habitats, such as the Ballona Wetlands.

Jerome P. Helman, M.D.

– John Davis Responds:
Hello Dr. Helman,
Of course mosquito control is necessary to prevent disease. And, I do not enjoy being bitten by even a healthy mosquito. There is no disagreement with the need to control air-born pests. They are constantly evolving to carry more deadly diseases. The mosquito outbreak was not caused by a freshwater or brackish wetland.
It was caused by the failure to manage a man made flood control system for pests. Los Angeles West Vector Control created a Mosquito Abatement Plan for the Playa Vista Project Freshwater Wetland System in 1995.
The flood control project manager, according to Vector Control, failed to properly implement the plan, and that is what lead to the mosquito outbreak, not the freshwater wetland complex.
Vector said it was the worse mosquito outbreak to hit LA in years.
The outbreak occurred at a public wetland reserve and near a public school.
Prior to this project, Centennial creek was very narrow flowing unimpeded and at a much lower volume.
Now, the Playa Vista Project discharges valuable State groundwater into the system from dewatering activities East of Lincoln, creating a larger flow of surface water.
As a result of the flood control project dense stands of reeds inhibited water flow, encouraging the mosquito population to flourish.
If the project manager had followed the strict plan set forth by the authority in the matter, Vector Control, this problem would never have arisen. But the project manager failed, abjectly, to comply with the law, until it threatened with legal action by Vector Control.
The notion that replacing a valuable coastal freshwater wetland by flooding it with salt water to control mosquitos, is at best, an uneducated approach to pest control.
It is the project manager that caused the problem, not nature.
– John Davis


The Beachhead has good Karma. Patrica McPherson spoke to Dr. Helman and they are now friends
on the same page. Dr Helman has had the same problems reaching government that we have and
he understands that the wetlands are not the problem, but government officials trying to brush
him and his valid concerns about health off.