By Christina Zubko
The Friends of Ormond Beach are pleased with the recent progress on the eviction of the individuals living on the wetlands in direct violation of Oxnard City Ordinance 2906.Now, however, it appears that there is another problem.
On August 17, 2019, Johnny Perez of Facebook’s Dying California sent his drone high above Ormond Beach not only to illustrate the number of encampments in that area but also to show the extent of the pollution and trash accumulating in the wetland area (including a canoe in the lagoon).
A member of Friends of Ormond Beach–David Scrivner–reviewed the aerial footage and the still shots and noticed something quite alarming–the vagrants in the area had actually disturbed the cap on the Haleco Superfund Site, burrowed into the cap to create a cave, carved a trail in the clay cap to allow them to get to their encampments, and made steps in the clay cap as well. See the image below:
The Friends of Ormond Beach want both cities to be aware of this illegal activity and to contact the EPA immediately so that repair to the protective cap on the slag heap can begin as soon as possible. Not only are the vagrants exposing themselves to dangerous toxins contained beneath the clay cap but the wetlands area may also be threatened by toxic run-off that will come with the arrival of rain in the winter. We also ask that both cities request that the EPA provide a full-time security guard of the area to prevent individuals from gaining access to the Haleco Superfund Site and disturbing the protective clay cap. Should the poisonous material leak from under the protective cap, all plans to start implementing the Ormond Beach Restoration and Access Plan will have to be halted as well.
We appreciate that both cities are working together to address a very serious problem that has the potential to adversely affect humans and wildlife. We look forward to hearing from both cities to learn of the progress each has made with the EPA. As always, we continue to stress the importance of full-time surveillance of all of Ormond Beach and the wetlands. An eviction without a plan to secure the wetlands would be a costly mistake with a predictable outcome.
Christina Zubko writes for the Hueneme Voice