We are writing this in response to the recent article by Peter Johnson ("Water Board finalizes TCE cleanup order on Buckley Road," Aug. 22) regarding the state order to remove the TCE contamination beneath our property.
The Regional Water Quality Control Board report on TCE contamination in the Buckley Road area omitted several significant facts:
• There is no evidence that TCE was ever used or released on our property.
• The board admits they do not know where or when the contamination occurred.
• TCE was eliminated for industrial uses in about 1980. The contamination likely occurred in the '60s or '70s or during World War II when the U.S. military occupied the airport and used TCE to service aircraft. The highest concentrations of TCE in the soil and soil vapor in recent tests were north of Buckley Road, immediately adjacent to location of a former aircraft hangar.
• Groundwater is constantly migrating. Tests going back 20 years show the TCE in our area constantly moving and changing in concentration. In the Buckley Road area, the groundwater moves south and west. Identifying the point of contamination 50 years later is an unfounded guess.
TCE is present in groundwater or soil at the airport and at 24 properties south and west of the airport. A test well drilled one year ago indicates that the highest groundwater TCE concentration is currently under our property, and the board has exercised its authority by imposing responsibility on us for cleaning the contamination in the entire Buckley Road area.
We do not have the money to continue to resist the board's arbitrary decisions. We also do not have the funds necessary to comply with the board's requirements, but we will do our best to obtain money from available grant sources at the State Water Resources Control Board in Sacramento to perform the work.
Like our neighbors, we would like to have our property free of TCE.
San Luis Obispo