Some Wildomar residents living in the Autumnwood housing development say they are being exposed to toxic chemicals, so the city has coordinated a workshop that aims to answer questions.
On Dec. 18 beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the Wildomar Elementary School Multi-Purpose Room located at 21575 Palomar Road, residents are encouraged to meet with officials from the following four state and regional agencies:
South Coast Air Quality Management District
Department of Toxic Substances Control
Riverside County Health Department
Riverside County Environmental Health
Wildomar City Manager Frank Oviedo and Mayor Ben Benoit organized the meeting after receiving concerns from residents who live in the Autumnwood tract near Wildomar Elementary School.
During Wednesday night’s regularly scheduled City Council meeting, nearly a dozen Autumnwood residents turned out, some of whom addressed the council demanding the city pass a resolution to pressure the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to do more.
The residents who spoke say some living in the housing tract are sick with maladies ranging from breathing and gastrointestinal problems to skin allergies – and they are concerned the deaths of two Autumwood women could be a result of poisoning.
“I’m a concerned citizen living in this community,” said a teary Jennifer Muniz. “Many members in this community are sick.”
The residents claim the soil at Autumnwood could be the culprit. Swanson Law Firm, which represents some Autumnwood residents, forwarded documents to the city making its case that high levels of some toxic substances have been found in the area. The documents were forwarded to the DTSC, which found that testing methods may have been flawed and, furthermore, the detected toxins were well below dangerous levels. [Click here to access the city's Autumnwood web portal that the correspondence.]
According to City Manager Frank Oviedo, county health officials have requested medical records from those who claim to be suffering illnesses, but none of the residents have forwarded documents.
Oviedo and Benoit said autopsy results are pending on one Autumnwood woman who became ill and recently died, and both say they are taking the issue seriously.
“I am deeply concerned about this,” Benoit told the Autumnwood residents Wednesday. “They [DTSC] are moving forward. We want answers too.”
Tuesday’s meeting is open to all residents.