OJAI : Officials to Monitor Tower’s Emissions


National Weather Service officials said they plan to monitor emissions from a radar station on Sulphur Mountain today to prove to frightened residents that the system is safe.

“The purpose of this whole readings thing is to eliminate an undue fear,” National Weather Service meteorologist Todd Morris said. “We are going to prove that the emissions from the radar tower are not what these homeowners are making it out to be. We are going to put this thing to rest.”

The radar station, which will track storms and wind conditions for the government, has panicked Upper Ojai residents who fear exposure to low-level radiation.


Last month a federal judge refused to delay switching on the tower after residents filed a lawsuit against the government. The property owners have vowed to appeal but have not yet done so.

Today’s readings, which will be taken from several locations near the tower, will show there are no dangerous emissions, Morris said.

“We’ll set up the equipment and show them what is coming on the meters, the levels of energy coming out of the radar,” said Jerry McDuffie, who runs the Oxnard office of the National Weather Service. “All we want to do is get positions to measure energy coming out at various locations and show what those measures are.”

Officials from the National Weather Service and Unisys, the information services company that is building 165 Doppler radar systems across the nation, will conduct the tests.

Homeowners were invited to attend the demonstrations but declined, Morris said. Residents said they don’t believe the tests will make a difference.

“We don’t feel we have any reason to trust them,” said Gail Light, who lives near the radar tower.