ORANGE COUNTY, CA — Today, Representatives Lou Correa (CA-46) and Young Kim (CA-40) led a bipartisan letter to Department of the Navy’s Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Coordinator Elizabeth Roddy asking the Navy’s plans to mitigate impacts of the recent fire at the former Marine Corps Air Station, which is owned by the Navy, in Tustin, CA.
“[W]e were devastated to learn that one of the historic hangars at the air station caught fire, and later that the blaze was too significant for firefighters to preserve the structure. Most of the structure has collapsed and is beyond repair,” the members wrote. “This is a somber event for the community, as many current residents are veterans who served at this air station.”
Led by Reps. Correa and Kim, the letter was also signed by Orange County Representatives Michelle Steel (CA-45), Katie Porter (CA-47), Linda Sanchez (CA-38), and Mike Levin (CA-49), as well as Southern California Representatives Ken Calvert (CA-41), Jay Obernolte (CA-23), Mike Garcia (CA-27), and Raul Ruiz, M.D. (CA-25).
“We are deeply concerned about the environmental impact of this fire and about the release of pollutants in Tustin and the surrounding areas that could impact our constituents’ health,” they added. “Ash and debris from the fire have fallen on residents’ properties and are getting into their homes.”
In their letter, the Members requested that the Department brief and provide written responses to the below questions:
- Does the Navy have information regarding the building materials that were used to construct the hangar, including asbestos?
- Is the Navy in contact with the South Coast Air Quality Management District regarding tests for toxic materials, and regarding the positive test for asbestos?
- Does the Navy have a plan for cleaning up the site and mitigate effects to surrounding communities?
- Does the Navy have a community engagement plan to ensure that our affected constituents are regularly informed of the Navy’s efforts to clean up the site, and to ensure that health concerns coming from the community are addressed?
- Does the Navy plan on joining the coordinated incident command with the County of Orange to assist the County with emergency environmental mitigation? If yes, can the Navy provide a timeline for the response?
- What does the Navy intend to do with the site after the cleanup is finished?
You can read the full text of the letter HERE.
Congressman Lou Correa is a longtime Orange County resident, with deep local roots. To this day, he lives only three miles from his childhood neighborhood in Anaheim. He is the son of working-class parents whose hard work gave him a chance at success, and has spent his career fighting to protect the American Dream, and ensure anyone can reach the middle class, just as he did. In 2016, Lou was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives to continue his work by representing the community he has spent the past 20 years serving, fighting to give everyone access to the same opportunity he had. Congressman Correa is committed to working across party lines to strengthen the middle class and give everyone a shot at the American Dream by investing in education, healthcare, and our fading infrastructure, and has introduced legislation to protect the legal rights of immigrants, care for veterans, and fight against the wasteful spending of taxpayer money.