The San Bernardino County Sun from San Bernardino, California on August 11, 1991 · Page 7
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The San Bernardino County Sun from San Bernardino, California · Page 7

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San Bernardino, California
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Sunday, August 11, 1991
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SUNDAY, August 11, 1991 The Sun IA7 1 Iffy lLUKli1l ltllN llliki(i n WA Mf:l rl ! I I H 111 , I .1 g FONTANA "I O cancer risk I Cancer burden is the number of cancer cases expected to result from one company's toxic pollution. Cancer risks are for continuous 70-year exposure to company s toxic pollution. California Steel Industries Inc. Location: Fontana Business: Produces rolled steel. Toxic chem teals emitted : Hexavalent ? chromium, formaldehyde, methylene chloride. Cancer risk: 2 In 1 ,000,000 Cancer burden: 0.044 Population exposed to 1 in 1 million cancer risk: 81,552 Slover Ave. Jurupa Ave. m4 Source: South Coast Air Quality Management District Gold Shield Fiberglass Inc. Location: 11751 Industry Ave., Fontana Business: Fiberglass component manufacturer. sToxic chemicals emitted: Toluene, styrene. Cancer risk: 0.8 in 1 ,000,000 Cancer burden: 0 Population exposed to 1 in 1 million cancer risk; 0 5 Merrill Ave. Mill St. 11 I E I jo ro I-A- 4 San Bernardino Ave. c 6 .., P I Va"erBlvd- ( Jj COLTON KSnARD.no ( (j 1 - i L MI . I - I r y S7 1 Barton Rd.j Texaco Refining and Marketing Inc. Location: 2237 S. Riverside Ave., Rialto Business: Gasoline storage and distribution. Toxic chemicals emitted: gasoline vapors. Cancer risk: 4 in 1,000,000 Cancer burden: 0 Population exposed to 1 in 1 million cancer risk: 0 X I BETTS GRIFFONEThe Sun California Portland Cement Co. Location: 695 S. Rancho Ave., Colton Business: Cement plant. Toxic chemicals emitted: hexavalent chromium, benzene, dioxin. Cancer risk: 4 in 1,000,000 Cancer burden: 0.00085 Population exposed to 1 in 1 million cancer risk: 700 Foamex Location: 1400 E. Victoria Ave. Business: Manufactures foam for furniture, packing. Toxic chemicals emitted: Methylene chloride, trichtoroethane, toluene diisocyanate. Cancer risk: 2 in 1,000,000 Cancer burden: 0.01 Population exposed to 1 in 1 million cancer risk: 1,904 California Portland Cement Co. COLTON Arthur Razo, 67, worked at California Portland Cement for 44 years and has lived in its shadow all his life. Like other neighbors, he complained about cement dust coating his cars and getting inside his gray stucco house. "Boy, that stuff would stick like cement, which is what it is, really," he says. The cement company has significantly reduced dust as well as toxic emissions, but there are no plans to further cut pollution, company spokesman Ross Hopkins says. Razo never worried about getting cancer from toxic pollution, which company officials say is a negligible risk. Now Razo wonders. "I worked there, and maybe I have cancer. I don't know," he says, knocking on a wooden table. California Steel Industries Inc. FONTANA Pablo Torres, a 20-year-old warehouse worker, moved from Compton last year seeking a quieter neighborhood with more affordable housing. He never considered that his house on Cambria Street was only a few blocks downwind of California Steel Industries. The steel rolling plant, which occupies the former Kaiser Steel Mill and was used as a set for the final scenes in the movie "Terminator 2" emits more than 6,000 pounds a year of the sus pected cancer-causing chemicals methylene chloride and perchloroethylene. But Torres doesn't worry about it. "I haven't heard anything about it, so it can't be that bad," he says. Company officials say a cancer risk study proves he has no reason to worry. The firm also plans to spend more than $40 million in the next 2 'a years to virtually eliminate hydrochloric acid emissions, which are now more than 109,000 pounds a year, says Bob Stanier, vice president of engineering and environment. Reducing pollution costs money, but it also saves money by increasing efficiency, Stanier says. "I'm not saying you get all of your money back, but you get a . . . share of it." Foamex SAN BERNARDINO Most residents of Victoria Street probably aren't even aware they live a few blocks from one of the county's largest sources of toxic pollution. Dixie Martinez wasn't. Martinez's two children attend Victoria School, an elementary school about two blocks from Foamex, a foam manufacturing plant housed in a plain green industrial building. Martinez is concerned about the plant's proximity to the school. "I've always thought it was kind of stupid to have an industrial park so close to a school," says Martinez, who is president of the school's PTA. But plant manager Dan Dobratz says there is no significant health risk to neighbors. In 1989, the plant emitted more than 265,000 pounds of methylene chloride, a chemical that probably causes cancer and is one culprit in the destruction of the Earth's ozone layer. The company plans to reduce its annual methylene chloride emissions to 53,000 pounds by this fall, Dobratz says. "I think we're making pretty dramatic changes," Dobratz says. "I think we've made significant strides, and I think we'll continue to make significant strides." Gold Shield Fiberglass Inc. FONTANA The pungent, sweet smell of styrene fills the air and nostrils as you walk through the front door of Gold Shield's fiberglass plant. Styrene, a key ingredient in fiberglass manufacturing, evaporates as fiberglass cures, and is Gold Shield's largest single toxic pollutant. In 1989, the plant emitted nearly 63,000 pounds of styrene. Whether the chemical causes cancer is a subject of debate. The International Agency for Research on Cancer considers it a possible cancer-causing chemical. But a National Cancer Institute study found it did not cause cancer in rats. Plant manager Le Rodenbcrg, who supervises the manufacture of recreational vehicle parts for the firm's parent company, Fleetwood Enter prises, says that styrene emissions don't pose a threat. The company has cut down styrene fumes by reducing styrene content in polyester resins; reducing the curing time for fiberglass and promptly cleaning up waste. "This is the cleanest, safest shop I've been in," he says. Texaco Refining and Marketing Inc. RIALTO Texaco's giant gasoline tanks on Riverside Avenue may pose the greatest risk to workers, since the nearest residence is more than three-quarters of a mile away. And even that risk is extremely small, company officials say. An employee working there for 46 years would suffer less than 4 chances in 1 million of getting cancer from the gas tanks' toxic emissions, according to the company's health risk study. "We feel there is a minimal risk, if any, from the terminal," company spokesman Greg Hardy says. Riverside Avenue is home to several oil companies' gasoline "tank farms." Gasoline is piped underground from Los Angeles area refineries to the tank farms, where tank trucks fill up and transport fuel to service stations. More than 5,800 pounds of gasoline vapors, which contain cancer-causing benzene, escape into the air every year as fuel is loaded onto trucks. Toxins: Studies fail to ease residents' worries Cancer risk Studies revive debate on danger of industrial emissions Continued fromA1 leads to citizen action," says Mike Belliveau, executive director of Citizens for a Better Environment, a group instrumental in drafting the toxic hot spots law. "In some cases, it seems to be creating an incentive for companies to voluntarily reduce emissions. I think they are concerned about negative publicity." He also believes companies are fearful of being sued by people who have diseases that could be linked to chemical releases. The state's toxic hot spots law dates to 1987, when environmentalists lobbied for a law forcing toxic polluters to reduce their emissions. Chemical manufacturers defeated the proposal. But environmentalists did succeed in getting a law that forces toxic polluters to notify nearby residents if the plants pose a high cancer risk. Local air pollution districts must decide the level of cancer risk that triggers the requirement to notify nearby residents. The South Coast Air Quality Management District will set a risk level later this year. It will probably be no more stringent than 10 in 1 million, district spokesman Bill Kelly says. None of the San Bernardino Valley plants so far surveyed pose such risks. Nine more firms in the San Bernardino Valley and 221 throughout Southern California are required to complete health studies later this year. Although the state law doesn't require companies to reduce pollution, the air quality district is set to adopt a rule that would force them to cut emissions if they pose a significant risk. Then the debate will focus on what constitutes such a risk. Some residents already believe they have found the answer. For them, the health studies offer little solace. Rosa Garcia, 41, lives in South Colton in a brown stucco house, about three blocks from California Portland Cement Co. She has organized protests about the clouds of cement dust. Once it got so thick, she says, that it ruined her above-ground pool. "My daughter, who has never had allergies, has developed allergies," she says. "My allergies have gotten worse since I moved here." Company spokesman Ross Hopkins says a $7.5 million system now controls 99.8 percent of dust emissions. Garcia wasn't aware the plant also had toxic emissions, including the cancer-causing chemical hexavalent chromium and 17 other toxic pollutants. Now she is concerned about them. "I believe (the plant) is a health hazard," says Garcia. "I know it's a lot of jobs, but it's still a health hazard." By SAM ATWOOD Sun Staff Writer New cancer risk studies have rekindled a debate over whether industrial toxic emissions pose a significant threat to nearby residents. Five San Bernardino Valley manufacturing plants recently completed cancer risk studies. Plant officials say toxic pollution from their plants is minuscule compared with toxic emissions from cars, gas stations and millions of small sources ranging from hair spray to room deodorizers. In Upland, the risk of cancer from a lifetime of exposure to background pollutants mostly from cars is 1 in 1,600, according to a 1988 study by the South Coast Air Quality Management District. By comparison, the cancer risk posed by the plants ranges between 1 and 5 in 1 million. But environmentalists say the health risk stud ies ignore the cumulative effect of several industrial sources clustered together. "If you've got the cement plant here, and the steel plant there, and the gas station across the street, what's the effect of all these things mixed together?" says Tim Little, executive director of the Coalition for Clean Air. Environmentalists also question the objectivity of the studies. "As much as the studies say that they're overly conservative risk figures, these are being done by consultants who are hired by the companies to make them look good," Little says. The studies should be objective because companies had to follow guidelines set by a state association of government air pollution officials, says Mark Sapperstein, an air toxics program supervisor at the South Coast Air Quality Management District. The district is now reviewing the studies to see if companies did follow the guidelines. Ethnic reapportionment concerns neighbors Q Existing districts los UP'and ANGELES t COUNTY f if Chino Rancho Cucamonga Fontana lllllliis, j SanN Bernardino manor r jXHigWand Ontario JjColfon riversioeco. iMW mmmx&ga Population Percent of total White 113.136 39 Latino 41,722 15 Black 11,284 4 Other 120,804 42 Total 286,946 100 SUN STAFF ... ...... ...... jg Q Existing districts los r ANGELES I I COUNTY ,, , , r1 :mmmmM:g Upland I F IL Chino Rancho Cucamonga, Ontario J niauu i : i r Fontana I I Q OOII 1 y:::v:: Bernardino Highland Bloomington Population Percent of total White 102,262 6 Latino 136,091 49 Black 29,871 11 Other 10,287 4 Total 278,511 100 District reapportionment listings County supervisor district reapportionment for San Bernardino Valley communities: BLOOMINGTON: Now: Split along Locust Avenue, with west portion In 2nd District, represented by Jon Mikels, and east in 3rd District, represented by Barbara Riordanof Redlands. Latino District: Would be completely contained in new 5th District. Non-White Majority District: Would be split along Locust, with west portion still in 2nd District. East portion would be in 5th District, now represented by Bob Hammock of San Bernardino. COLTON: Now: Contained in 3rd District, represented by Barbara Riordan of Redlands. Latino District: Would divide city roughly along the Santa Ana River, with western portion in 5th District, 1 east in 3rd District. Non-White Majority District: Would divide city, also approximately along Santa Ana River, between 5th and 3rd districts. FONTANA: Now: Contained in the 2nd District, represented by Jon Mikels of Rancho Cucamonga. Latino District: Would divide city in half, roughly along Foothill Boulevard. Southern half of older neighborhoods and Southridge Village would be In 5th District, northern half with new developments In 2nd. Non-White Majority District: Would take in small portions of city east of Alder Avenue. Remainder of city would be in 2nd District. ONTARIO: Now: Contained within the 4th District, represented by Larry Walker of Chino. Was split between 2nd and 4th during 1970s. Latino District: Would likely divide city into three portions, with new 5th r District taking up the bulk in the middle. South and east could remain in 4th District, with north going to 2nd District. Non-White Majority District: Does not directly affect city. Since 4th District needs to pick up voters, it will probably still contain Ontario. RIALTO: Now: Divided three ways. Northwest is In 2nd District, represented by Jon Mikels, northeast in the 5th District, represented by Robert Hammock, and south of Merrill Avenue in the 3rd District, represented by Barbara Riordan. Latino District: Would divide city along Merrill Avenue, with north in 2nd District, south in 5th. Non-White Majority District: Would place entire city in 5th District. SAN BERNARDINO: Now: Split, with northern portion in 5th District, represented by Robert Hammock, southern in 3rd District, represented by Barbara Riordan. Latino District: Would carve out central portion of city for 5th District, f with north, south and east in 3rd District. Non-White Majority District: Most of city west of Sterling Avenue would be in 5th District. North of 40th Street and Kendall Avenue and east of Sterling would be in 3rd District. Cities of Grand Terrace, Loma Linda, Redlands and Yucaipa would remain in the 3rd District, represented by Barbara Riordan. Chino and Chino Hills would remain in the 4th District, represented by Larry Walker. Upland would remain in the 2nd District, represented by Jon Mikels. Montclalr could be moved from the 2nd to the 4th District. Desert-Mountain changes: The 1 st and 2nd districts, which represent the desert and mountains, must both give up population. Various proposals would move all of the mountain communities east of the Cajon Pass to Barbara Riordan's 3rd District, or place the Morongo Basin in that district. t County reapportionment in neighboring counties: Los Angeles: Gloria Molina was elected as the first Latina Los Angeles County supervisor in February. The vote followed a landmark court decision last year that found county supervisors had purposefully diluted Latino voting strength. The county was ordered to draw new district lines. With a new liberal majority and memories of the suit still fresh, the board this year is carefully crafting districts to reflect ethnic communities. Asian voters in the Monterey Park area in particular are pushing for a district that could elect an Asian supervisor. Orange: Latino leaders in Santa Ana and Garden Grove have attacked a plan that would divide those cities and dilute their voting strength, they say. The plan was San Bernardino County supervisors must follow state and federal law in drawing new boundaries for districts. Those guidelines have become much more stringent in the past 10 years, said Dan Hauter, chief deputy county counsel. The California Elections Code requires: Each of the five districts must be equal in population. The optimum district in San Bernardino County would include 283,676. In past years, a variance of up to 3 percent was allowed, Hauter said. Computer technology and strict judges probably will force much closer equality this year. Wherever possible, districts must be geographically compact. Gerrymandered dis- drawn by a committee made up of supervisors' staff members. Supervisors have defended the plan, pointing out it does concentrate the growing Asian communities in the two cities. A vote is scheduled for next week, with Latinos vowing to mount a challenge if the plan is not changed. Riverside: A panel of 1 5 citizens appointed by the county supervisors has conducted four public hearings in various parts of the county. It will make a recommendation to the board by Sept. 3. The panel has tentatively drawn lines that would create an urban Riverside district that is 32 percent Latino and a desert district that is 40 percent Latino. It would be difficult to concentrate minority voters further because of the geographic distance between the communities, committee members say. From Sun news services. tricts can twist over hundreds of miles to pick up favorable votes. A city should not be split into more than one district whenever it can be avoided. Communities of common interest, such as the High Desert or mountains, should be kept in one district whenever possible. Except for the first item, the above can be superseded by the provisions of the Federal Voting Rights Act. The Federal Voting Rights Act: Prohibits diluting minority voting by dividing ethnic communities into two or more districts. Requires that counties and states seek to create districts that encourage the election of ethnic minorities. 'i Requirements for drawing district boundaries

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