The city Responds – a little later

Peter Hegerty of the Alameda Journal tells me that the city will announce its decision by issuing a press release and posting a Q and A about the fire on the city website. I just checked, and here are links to the press release and the FAQs.

tales of the bureaucracy
An Air Quality Inspector called me today. I was hoping he could test the air in my house for high-than-normal levels of asbestos and advise me about clean up. (High indoor asbestos levels were what prompted a post-9/11 class action suit in New York City. On account of the the EPA lying to residents about air quality for months after the disaster when those same citizens might have taken steps to protect themselves.) Instead he wanted to tell me all about how testing the air in my boat wasn’t his job, yadda, yadda. When I asked him what my options were for getting the test done, he said I’d have to use an independent 3rd party tester. “That’s what you’d have to do to use the evidence in a lawsuit, too.”

Lawsuit? Who said anything about a lawsuit?

So I said, “I guess I’m on my own then.”
He, taking umbrage: ” I never said that.”
Me: “You didn’t have to. Thank you for calling.”

He sounded miffed when he said good-bye. I suppose the “Thank you” did sound an awful lot like “F*ck you.”

In other news, County Environmental Health has backed out of helping us, claiming that they cannot do anything. And, unless the city asks a federal agency for help, federal agencies – like the EPA – can’t help either.

Unless citizen outrage overrides federal reluctance. Which means we’d have to work through our state and federal representatives. I’m willing if you’re interested.

Or unless we file a class action lawsuit. Which means paperwork, deadlines and money. (Honestly? This is my least favorite option and I doubt you could talk me into it. But, to be thorough, I had to include it.)

There might also be a third option I’m not seeing. There often is.

So, check out the city’s website, think about it, and let me hear from you in the comments. If there are enough of us to pursue productive avenues, I’m in.

If we decide to let this go, I’ll turn this blog into a time capsule site. That means it will have information on mesothelioma, the lung cancer caused by asbestos, so if it starts showing up on the island, folks will have a big head start on holding the city accountable if that’s the direction they want to take.

Either way, please let me hear from you. Thank you.

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One Response to “The city Responds – a little later”

  1. denisehylenlai Says:

    The inspector for the ARB (air resources board) called this morning. I explained what we saw and experienced the day of the fire and the days following. I explained the response progression from the County, BAAQMD, AFD, and City’s culminating in last night’s ineffective City press release and FAQs online.

    His response? Looks like the only way you’ll get anything done is if you hire a lawyer.

    And: the state air board can do nothing when there’s a regional air board (the BAAQMD), they cannot step in and help (even though THREE people from the ARB have now called and want to). We need to call the BAAQMD if we want air tested inside our homes or outside.

    For myself, my doctor has ordered a chest xray due to new/strange symptoms I’ve been having since the fire. If you have had any respiratory experiences, I urge you to see your doctor, be safe, get checked. The ARB inspector this morning confirmed this as really really important. FYI yawl!

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