Walter Mencken 4:15 p.m., Dec. 12
Point Loma Residents Warn Navy Against Waking the "Sleeping Giant"
Some residents of Point Loma call it, the "Sleeping Giant." The 'it' being a 56-year-old Navy pipeline carrying jet-fuel that runs 17 miles between the Marine Corps air station in Miramar to the Naval Base in Point Loma. The pipeline is estimated to transport 323 million gallons of jet fuel each year.
In a letter from Suhail Khalil, chair of the Peninsula Committee Planning Board, to Navy officials and other local elected officials, Khalil warns of the consequences if the pipeline bursts.
"The best time to address high-risk petrochemical toxic spills are before they happen and before the environment is endangered. Thus, we are writing to you all to urge your attention to a fully preventable potential environmental situation at the minimum and a potential man-made environmental disaster at the worst."
According to Khalil's letter, only small sections of the pipeline have been replaced and in some areas around the La Playa area, the 8-inch pipeline sits exposed to the elements.
"The urban landscape has changed, while the jet fuel pipeline continues to age, reads Khalil's letter. "All of these issues give rise to reasonable concerns of the citizens of this Community."
Attached to the letter are 34 questions addressed to the Naval Commander of the Southwest division. I contacted the Navy and am waiting for their response to some of those questions.
The planning board is expected to discuss the letter during their August 18 board meeting.