In real life, things are often messier than a CSI episode purports them to be, and mysteries of all kinds can drag out for months or years without a satisfying resolution.
That appears to be
In an interview with New Times,
The results didn't reveal any evidence that his property was the source of the TCE.
"In spite of all their efforts to find TCE on the property and money I've spent, they found zero,"
Testing also indicated that a commercial property on Buckley Road owned by John Coakley likely wasn't the source of the contamination either. Coakley did not respond to New Times' request for comment.
Janice Noll is the majority owner of another commercial property located at 4665 Thread Lane. She's on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars to pay for testing on the land, which houses a machine shop that's operated since the 1960s and may have used industrial solvents in the past.
According to an April 2017 letter sent to the water board, Noll is struggling to come up with the estimated $45,000 to test her property's soil and groundwater.
"[Noll] works full time, but the rent she receives from the tenants on that property is a primary source of her income," wrote Westlake Village-based attorney David Ossentjuk, who's representing both Noll and
The letter stated that Noll had tried to borrow the money via a loan from a private lender, but was turned down. The letter also claimed that Noll was thinking about getting a bank loan, but expressed doubt she'd be approved once the lenders found out what the money would be used for. In an interview with New Times, Ossentjuk said Noll was still attempting to find funding and expressed frustration.
"She just doesn't have the money to pay for all this expensive work," he said.
SLO County also paid out of pocket for testing. According to county officials, it cost $592,711 to conduct testing at the airport.
Ossentjuk said that Noll filed a preliminary application asking for more than $45,000 in funding through the State Water Resources Control Board's Site Cleanup Subaccount Program, or SCAP, which provides grants to remediate existing or threatened harm caused by surface and groundwater contamination. As of July 7, the state board had not decided whether to approve Noll's application.
Noll isn't the only one seeking
Dean Thomas, a project manager for the regional water board, said the state board was in the process of selecting contractors to do the work outlined in the application. In the meantime, he indicated the board was reviewing the data it's collected thus far to decide what the next steps in the investigation will be.
"It's hard to tell at this point," he
When and if the water board's investigators find the source of the contamination, property owners who've had to shell out the cash to clear their names shouldn't expect to recoup that money from the board itself. However, Thomas did say that they would be able to try and get that money back from whoever is ultimately found responsible for the contamination.
"Once we find that responsible party, they can request reimbursement," he said.
"Close to zero," he said. Δ
Staff Writer Chris McGuinness can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter at @CWMcGuinness.
Correction: The original version of this article incorrectly stated the status of the water board's SCAP application. It has been changed to reflect that the funding was approved.