Thursday, June 14, 2012

Wal-Mart says dioxin concern by Auburn group is delay tactic - APACE wants to reopen environmental review at Placer County level"

AUBURN CA - Wal-Mart attorneys are blasting an Auburn activist group’s attempts to reopen Placer County’s environmental process on the North Auburn project as error-filled and obstructionist.

Citing a state Department of Toxic Substance Control request for Wal-Mart to conduct soil-sampling for dioxins at the store site, the Alliance for the Protection of the Auburn Community Environment (APACE) has called on the county to reopen the environmental impact process.

But Wal-Mart attorneys Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton of San Francisco, has responded that the store project does not require any further environmental review.

Judy Davidoff, a land-use attorney with the firm, said that APACE’s contentions on dioxin and furan levels have previously been considered and the state toxic substance control department has issued a “no further action” letter.

“After the no further action letter was issued, APACE began lobbying to revisit the soil-contamination issue and mandate additional testing and cleanup at the project site,” Davidoff said. “The department has consistently refused to do so.”

APACE member Victoria Connolly, said Wednesday that Wal-Mart is taking a lackadaisical approach to the group’s effort to revisit environmental issues at the site.

“We are attempting to get the Board of Supervisors to be concerned about the health and safety of residents in the area and reopen the EIR to allow public comment on the section that deals with hazards and toxins,” Connolly said. “What is true is that the state is requesting further action and requesting Wal-Mart to enter into a voluntary cleanup-up agreement.”

Davidoff said that, at APACE’s request, the department did agree to ask Wal-Mart to voluntarily conduct soil testing at the project site.


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