Friday, November 16, 2012

Developers and Military/Industrial Complex Bump Heads in Sacramento County

By: Duane Craig

A now defunct housing development in Sacramento County is still haunting the developers who originally had to find sources of water other than groundwater to move on with the project, according to this Sacramento Business Journal article.

At the center of the controversy are a number of aviation manufacturers including Aerojet, Boeing and McDonnell Douglas. In a lawsuit, the developers, allege that the manufacturers released hazardous substances into eastern Sacramento County. Those substances, the developers say, contaminated the ground water, requiring them to spend millions to make water available for the development from other sources.

The planned Sunrise-Douglas development south of Rancho Cordova would have had 22,000 homes. But after the water problems and a lawsuit where residents and environmentalists prevailed in stopping the development, the developers are looking for relief from their losses. Specifically, they claim they had to sell the property at a loss as well as incur large legal expenses throughout their ownership - mainly because of the water pollution. The area has had numerous industrial and military sources of pollution including Air Force operations at Mather Air Force Base and contamination from a maker of rocket motors. Contaminants include rocket propulsion waste and volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. The developers claim the pollution caused people to close domestic water wells and for the county to also close some of its own wells.


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