New Homes at the BKK Landfill
At the February 21, 2023 West Covina City Council meeting, Councilman Tony Wu proposed consideration of building new residential homes on the city-owned land at the BKK Landfill. Shortly thereafter, the following was issued to all City Council members and all senior and mid-level City Staff:
From: Livable West Covina
Subject: New Homes at the BKK Landfill
Date: February 24, 2023 8:02am
To: West Covina City Council, West Covina City Staff
We deeply concerned about Councilman Wu's statements. Councilman Wu is either unwilling to accept or incapable of understanding that the city-owned land at BKK lies directly against California’s largest toxic hazardous waste landfill, AND that landfill is unlined, AND it is leaking, AND it is un-remediated. In a certified mailing to the City dated January 30, 2020 the California Department of Toxic Substances Control stated that BKK remains an “on-going public threat”.
Based on Councilman Wu’s comments at Tuesday evening’s Council meeting it appears that the City may begin to once again pursue intensive development at BKK prior to remediation of the Class I (toxic hazardous waste) landfill. This time, building homes.
Councilman Wu was quite clear about his motivation - money.
To be clear. Our expectation of all Councilmembers and City Staff is as follows:
1. Intensive development (buildings of any kind) will not be pursued on any portion of the 135 acres of city-owned land at BKK until the remediation of the directly abutting toxic hazardous waste landfill has been completed, its efficacy established, and the DTSC has declared that landfill is no longer an on-going public health threat.
2. All Councilmembers and City Staff will keep public health a higher priority than added revenue to the city’s coffers. That was particularly disappointing during the Singpoli hotel fiasco: Councilmembers Wu, Lopez-Viado, and Castellanos consistently stated, publicly and privately, it’s up to the developer and regulators to figure out if this can be done safely. That is unacceptable. Our City, Councilmembers and Staff alike, should not be abdicating, in any manner, their responsibility to protect our health. They should be at the front of any list of parties that bear our public health responsibility.
Sincerely and respectfully,
Livable West Covina