Almaden Valley Community Association (AVCA)
Informed Citizens for Constructive Action

6426 Hidden Creek Drive

San Jose, CA 95120

 

June 11, 2008

 

AVCA SUPPORTS MT. UNUMHUM CLEAN UP

 

At its regular meeting held on Monday, June 9, 2008, the Board of Directors of the Almaden Valley Community Association voted unanimously to support the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District in their efforts to remove hazardous materials at the former Air Force Base.

 

The board directed that the president send a letter to national elected representatives listed below. The letters from the General Manager of Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District and to Mike Honda, Anna Eshoo, Zoe Lofgren, Jackie Speier, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein follow.

Dear Art:

I am writing to ask for your support in directing the Department of Defense to clean up the former Almaden Air Force Station atop Mt. Umunhum in accordance with the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1990.  This important natural resource, the South Bay's second highest peak, is today still not accessible by the public because the Army Corps of Engineers has for 20 years broken its promises to clean the decommissioned base of toxic materials.

The 48-acre property was purchased from the United States Government by the District in 1986, and incorporated into its Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve.

To date the area has had to remain closed to the public due to the presence of toxic materials and hazardous physical conditions.

 
Because the public cannot afford to wait another two decades for cleanup activities to begin we would like to ask you to submit the attached letter of support directing the Department of Defense to clean up the former AFS.

Your effort to sign and send the attached letter of support, on behalf of the Almaden Valley Community Association, would be very much appreciated and would greatly increase the likelihood of positive action by federal legislators.  Please submit it to the legislators listed at the bottom of the attached sample letter and send a signed copy to us via fax, e-mail or mail as soon as possible.

Please let me know if you need any additional information or if you would like to visit the site.

Sincerely,

Stephen E. Abbors
General Manager
Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District
330 Distel Circle, Los Altos, CA 94022
Ph: (650) 691-1200 / FAX: (650) 691-0485
www.openspace.org

 

GENERAL SUPPORT LETTER FOR ALMADEN AFS CLEANUP EFFORT

 

June 11, 2008

 

The Honorable Michael M. Honda

United States House of Representatives
1713 Longworth House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515

 

Dear Congressman Honda:

 

The Almaden Valley Community Association passed a motion on June 8, 2008 is support of the cleanup of Mt. Umunhum. I am writing to request that you take whatever steps are necessary to direct the Department of Defense to accelerate the clean up of the former Almaden Air Force Station (AFS) in Santa Clara County, California.†† The cleanup is currently being carried out by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, under the Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS) program, which has proven wholly inadequate.

 

In addition, I write to request your assistance in securing $4,000,000 in the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, under Office of the Secretary of Defense, Office of Economic Adjustment, for economic adjustment programs, including, infrastructure assessments and feasibility studies, engineering activities, specialized environmental and legal services, and, other activities necessary for the community to address issues that continue to create a barrier to reuse of Almaden AFS.

More than 20 years after the Districtís purchase of lands that include the former Almaden AFS atop Mt. Umunhum, near downtown San Jose, California, the Army Corps of Engineers has proceeded with the promised cleanup at a painfully slow pace.This inadequate response has allowed toxic materials on site to become an increasing danger to public health and the environment by threatening to contaminate area potable water supplies and negatively impacting endangered plants and animals.The lack of progress at the abandoned site has also denied the citizens of our region over two decades of use.

 

In sharp contrast to the painfully slow pace of cleanup under the FUDS program, the Defense Department, under congressional mandate, has made the cleanup of bases closed under the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) program a high priority.The Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported recently that the Department of Defense has spent in excess of $10 billion on BRAC cleanups since 1988.

 

As a matter of long overdue equity, we, again, ask that you take whatever steps are necessary to direct the Department of Defense to carry out the timely remediation of past and current site conditions at Almaden AFS, including the remediation of petroleum products, solvents, PCBs, friable asbestos, and deteriorating lead-based paint, as well as structural safety issues arising from the two decades of deterioration occurring during the administration of the property under the FUDS program.

 

The cleanup of Almaden AFS will allow the District to expedite plans to provide for public access and proper management of the Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve, protect the unique environmental characteristics of the sensitive Sierra Azul and Bear Creek Redwoods areas, and eliminate the threat posed to public health and listed species by uncontained contaminants on former Almaden AFS.

We who live in Almaden Valley can see the Mt Umunhum whenever we look south. Our residents are not allowed to hike, picnic, use our bikes or horses to enjoy the views of Silicon Valley because of the environmental damage caused by the U. S. Air Force. We appreciate your efforts to encourage the U.S. Air Force to complete their legal obligation to clean up what they destroyed.

Sincerely,

 

 

 

Art Boudreault

President

 

Same Letter to:

 

The Honorable Anna G. Eshoo

United States House of Representatives
205 Cannon House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515

 

Dear Congresswoman Eshoo:

 

The Honorable Zoe Lofgren

United States House of Representatives
102 Cannon House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515

 

Dear Congresswoman Lofgren:

 

The Honorable Jackie Speier

2413 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington
, DC 20515

 

Dear Congresswoman Speier:

 

The Honorable Barbara Boxer

United States Senate
112 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

 

Dear Senator Boxer:

 

The Honorable Dianne Feinstein

United States Senate

331 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, DC20510

 

Dear Senator Feinstein:

 

A signed copy of your letter for our files would be greatly appreciated (by FAX or mail):

 

Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District

ATTN:Public Affairs Dept.

330 Distel Circle

Los Alto, CA94022

FAX:(650) 691-0485