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Letter to San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales from Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition -- May 24, 2000

May 24, 2000

The Honorable Ron Gonzales
City of San Jose
801 North First Street, 6th Floor
San Jose. CA 95110

Dear Mayor Gonzales:

On behalf of Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, we are writing to oppose the siting of the proposed Metcalf Energy Center in San Jose's North Coyote Valley Industrial Area.

In response to concerns raised by members of our community, SVTC staff began in April 1999 to examine potential impacts from the proposed power plant. We considered a wide range of impacts that could be triggered by construction and operation of the plant. We are particularly concerned about

-- Potential chemical impacts to groundwater due to the high water table and legacy of chemical contamination in North Coyote Valley;

-- release of new sources of air toxins from the natural gas turbine-powered facility;

-- proximity of the plant to residential neighborhoods and schools;

-- poor atmospheric conditions in the North Coyote Valley for dispersal of air toxins and consequent impacts on local human health;

-- deficient and potentially hazardous access to the proposed site for transport of large volume chemicals (i.e., ammonia);

-- lack of adequate environmental justice analysis by California Energy Commission; and

-- insufficient consideration of alternative sites and alternative means of addressing future energy needs.

Given these concerns, the Board of Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition voted unanimously on April 26, 2000, to oppose the proposed power plant. We urge the City of San Jose to deny the Metcalf Energy Center General Plan Amendment and related requests to change the land use and transportation diagram from Campus Industrial to Public/Quasi Public. We will also recommend that the California Energy Commission (CEC) deny the MEC licensing request at the Metcalf location.

We further urge the City of San Jose to promote alternative energy supplies for South Bay communities that are consistent with the sustainable development of our region.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Michael Stanley-Jones at 408-287-6707, ext. 309.


Lynn De Asis
President, Board of Directors

Julie Phillips
Vice-President, Board of Directors

Frank Schiavo
Vice-President, Board of Directors

Cc: Hon. Members of the City Council of San Jose:
Linda J. LeZotte
Charlotte Powers
Cindy Chavez
Margie Matthews
Manny Diaz
Frank Fiscalini
George Shirakawa Jr.
Alice Woody
John Diquisto
Patricia Dando

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