Runkle Canyon Update

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Environmental Impact Reports were prepared, publicly reviewed and adopted in 2004 for the Runkle Canyon residential development project.  Those environmental reviews did not show that the development would cause a threat to the public health of the community.  However, as a result of requests from citizens to review any potential public health risks, the City Council requested that the United States Environmental Protection Agency, California Department of Health Services, and California Department of Toxic Substances Control conduct reviews of the project's environmental data.  These specific requests may be viewed below.

E-mail to Environmental Protection Agency (dated September 26, 2006)
Letter to California Department of Health Services (dated September 27, 2006)
Letter to California Department of Toxic Substances Control (dated October 9, 2006)
Letter to California Department of Health Services in response to their November 8, 2006 Letter and Report (dated November 21, 2006)
Letter to California Department of Health Services transmitting questions prepared by Simi Valley residents with regard to Runkle Canyon (dated March 1, 2007)

Responses to the City's requests appear below:

Response from California Department of Health Services to the City's Letter of 9/27/06 (dated October 27, 2006)
Response from Department of Toxic Substances Control to City's Letter of 10/9/06 (dated November 6, 2006)
Response from Environmental Protection Agency to City's E-mail of 9/26/06 (dated November 15, 2006)
Letter and Report from California Department of Health Services, titled "Airborne Sr-90 Hazard at Runkle Canyon Site" (dated November 8, 2006)
Response from California Department of Health Services to the City's Letter of 11/21/06 (dated November 30, 2006)
Response from California Department of Health Services to the City's Letter of 3/1/07 (dated April 10, 2007)

On Tuesday, March 13, 2007, City Council Members and City staff met with representatives of Senator Dianne Feinstein's Office in Washington, D.C. to seek her assistance in requesting that the United States Environmental Protection Agency review the environmental data for the project.  As a result of that meeting, the following request was sent to Senator Feinstein's Office:

Letter to U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein's Office (dated March 28, 2007)

On July 2, 2007, two surface water samples and one soil sample were taken at Runkle Canyon and analyzed for concentrations of Title 22 metals.  The test results were evaluated by Tetra Tech, Inc., an environmental consultant retained by the City of Simi Valley to observe the sampling event, evaluate the analytical data, and report on its findings.  The following link presents that report:

Laboratory Analytical Results for Surface Water and Surface Soil Samples Collected from the Proposed Runkle Canyon Development, July 2, 2007 (report prepared by Tetra Tech, Inc. dated August 14, 2007)

In the Fall, 2007, the City requested Larry Walker Associates and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), respectively, to review Tetra Tech's report and advise regarding public health risk:

Letter to Larry Walker Associates (dated September 20, 2007)
• Letters to DTSC (dated October 18, 2007 and dated November 7, 2007)

Responses to these requests appear below:

Report from Larry Walker Associates (dated October 30, 2007)
• Letters from DTSC (dated November 8, 2007 and dated November 30, 2007)
On April 23, 2008, DTSC and Runkle Canyon, LLC entered into an agreement for DTSC to review documents regarding the assessment and/or remediation of the Runkle Canyon area.

DTSC completed their review of 41 documents, reports, and letters regarding environmental investigations completed in the Runkle Canyon area between 1999 and 2007 and responded with a letter dated October 17, 2008.  The letter comments on the documents reviewed and recommends additional work needed to complete an assessment of the conditions at Runkle Canyon.
 
In 2008, DTSC requested further testing to confirm that no health risk exists from various materials existing or disposed of at the site. Runkle Canyon, LLC prepared a Response Plan to address DTSC’s request for further testing. The Response Plan detailed the plans to conduct the additional soil sampling and remove tar materials previously disposed at the site. Runkle Canyon, LLC provided DTSC with access to the site to conduct independent testing. Runkle Canyon, LLC implemented the soil-sampling plan under direct observation of DTSC in the field.

In July 2010, sampling for the presence of Sr-90 and Cs-137 was conducted and the results were summarized in the December 2010 report prepared by Dade Moeller & Associates. Thirty-nine surface soil samples were collected by an independent environmental services company from 35 sample locations in Runkle Canyon; the samples were analyzed by an independent, DTSC-approved, analytical laboratory. The levels of Sr-90 and Cs-137 present at Runkle Canyon were determined to not represent a significant health risk to future residents of the property. A human health risk assessment was performed comparing surface soil concentrations of Sr-90 and Cs-137 to the default PRG for a residential soil scenario for samples in recreation areas. The total risk from Sr-90 and Cs-137 was shown to be less than one in 1 million for residential users and less than one in 10 million for open space users. Runkle Canyon, LLC submitted all findings and reports to DTSC and received a letter indicating that no further action was necessary in December 2010.

A complete description of the additional testing performed under the supervision of the DTSC as well as the resulting reports can be found in the Addendum to the Runkle Canyon Environmental Impact Report, which was approved by the City on August 13, 2012.

On August 13, 2012, The City Council approved Amendment 1 to the Runkle Canyon Development Agreement (DA-04-01), which extended the term to June 10, 2019.

On June 5, 2013, the Planning Commission approved PD-S-930, Modification No. 1 to construct 138 attached senior condominiums, including 62 senior affordable condominiums, within Planning Area 4 of the Runkle Canyon Specific Plan area.

On August 15, 2013, the City issued the grading permit for the Runkle Canyon project.

Questions regarding the status of the Runkle Canyon project may be directed to Senior Planner Tom Preece at tpreece@simivalley.org or (805) 583-6897.

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