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BURBANK : Meetings to Address Lockheed Cleanup

Public concern over a proposal to clean up contaminated soil with a system that would shoot toxins into the air has prompted Burbank city officials to schedule meetings next week to answer questions about the controversial project.

Two consultants hired by the city to assess the pros and cons of Lockheed Corp.'s proposed Vapor Extraction system will be at City Hall for a public forum from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, followed by a televised town hall meeting from 6 to 7 p.m.

The consultants will also discuss their preliminary findings on the project during the Burbank Redevelopment Agency meeting at 7 p.m., said Bill Jacobs, an assistant city planner.

“There’s been quite a lot of public concern about this, and this is the approach that the city is taking. We want people to be aware and up to date about what’s going on,” Jacobs said.

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Lockheed is under orders from the federal Environmental Protection Agency to remove industrial chemicals that seeped into the soil during 63 years of military aircraft production on the site near Burbank Airport on Victory Place. The proposed system would force air into the ground, pump it through filters and out a 50-foot-high exhaust pipe, allowing some cancer-causing chemicals to escape.

Although Lockheed recently modified its plans and is now proposing a system that would release fewer toxins, the proposal is still drawing fire from residents. This week, a Burbank parents group announced it was conducting a petition drive in hopes of urging the EPA to force Lockheed to look into other methods of cleaning up the soil.

Before construction of the vapor-extraction system can begin, Lockheed must secure approvals not only from the EPA but also from the city--which would rule on the exhaust tower, which is higher than the law allows--and the AQMD, officials said.


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