Dear Editor,I could recall that a letter writer, Imtiaz Bacchus, questioned the health issues stemming from a GWI well located in the cemetery at Fyrish Village and which provides drinking water for thousands of residents on the surrounding areas.As far as I could recall, there was no comment offered by GWI on the issues raised by Bacchus. I found this to be very irresponsible. We are talking about the health of the people and the head of GWI is a doctor by profession and of all people, he should have proffered an explanation to allay the concerns of residents. Why was no explanation done to allay the fears of the residents?What I found was astonishing and I was shocked that experts at GWI and the health authorities would have allowed this dangerously high risk to the residents’ health to be so intentionally ignored or at least allay their well-founded fears (no pun intended).It must be noted that the Fyrish Cemetery is located just across the 12-foot dam where the residents live so it poses a high risk during flooding.The study also stated that the health hazards from cemeteries are nothing new and caught the attention of scientists at the end of the nineteenth century. In 1879, the French Society for Hospital Hygiene noticed the relationship between typhoid fever and groundwater contaminated by leachates from a cemetery in Paris. Since this finding goes back a long time, it befuddles the mind why this well should be located in a cemetery when there is an abundance of land nearby.According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) “Human or animal remains must not be buried within 250 metres of any well, borehole or spring from which a potable water supply is drawn”. This makes the location of the well at Fyrish highly questionable.In conclusion, the residents must know the rationale behind the location such as the type of soil and its permeability to permit leaching and seepage. The questions of how far above are the graves from the water table, and the effects of flooding in the cemetery on the percolation of the groundwater. However, it must be borne in mind that the location of the water well in a cemetery whether or not it satisfies the criteria of suitability will do nothing to alleviate the psychological fear which eats the minds of the residents, causing many of them to buy water for drinking purposes.Yours sincerely,Haseef YusufRDC Councillor,Region Six
I found the unveiling of architect Frank Gehry’s designs for the Grand Avenue development exciting, bold and encouraging. The core of our city would have a true center that helps define our sprawling metropolis. Yet there was a gaping hole in the plan: There are no green building standards. The lack of any green building and broader commitment to environmental sustainability in the plan is a missed opportunity. The city of Los Angeles was one of the first cities in the nation to pass a municipal green building policy, requiring all new construction to meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certified national voluntary standard that defines high performance green buildings, and strives for a LEED Silver rating with 10 percent of energy needs met on site through solar and other clean distributed generation technologies. The Los Angeles Community College District, for example, embraced LEED Silver for many of its 50 new buildings on nine campuses, a total of $3 billion in new construction. The Los Angeles Unified School District has embraced another green standard for schools, ensuring the $14 billion in new school construction will result in classrooms with healthier indoor air quality and schools with lower energy bills for decades to come. To fill this hole in the Grand Avenue design, the county of Los Angeles should pass a green building policy requiring that all buildings on county land and/or built with county funds meet LEED standards. And the Grand Avenue Committee should add environmental sustainability to its core criteria in shaping the final design of the buildings. Otherwise, this is not just a lost opportunity; it’s an opportunity cost that puts a great burden on future residents, occupants and tenants. Matt Petersen is president and CEO of Global Green USA, the American affiliate of Green Cross International, and serves on the city of Santa Monica Environmental Task Force.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsThe Grand Avenue development should do the same. Why green building? Green buildings increase productivity, performance and profits. The indoor climate is healthier. For schools, studies prove that students score higher on tests and attendance goes up when they’re in healthier classrooms. Green buildings address climate change. More than 40 percent of the world’s energy and resources go into the design, construction and maintenance of buildings. About one-third of the greenhouse gas emissions come from the electricity used in buildings. In a state where we recently experienced an electricity crisis, why doesn’t the design help meet much of the energy needs on site, at least those that can help reduce peak demand and meet emergency power needs? Why not accentuate the opportunities for harvesting the power of the sun, a free feedstock for energy, for all the buildings on site? Why no indication in the plan for capturing rainwater and storm runoff on site? Why no attempt in the design to capture and use the wind blowing between or past them to create energy? What if the buildings and land all shared services, like energy, with one building producing power from solar and fuel cells that is shared with other buildings to reduce peak demand?