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Concerns About High Levels Of Toxic Substances In Wildomar Community Prompt Public Workshop

“I am deeply concerned about this,” Wildomar Mayor Ben Benoit told Autumnwood residents Wednesday. “We want answers too.”

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.

Reverend Smith December 14, 2012 at 04:31 AM
Sounds like a liability lawyer's wet dream.
Stuart A Bowen May 25, 2013 at 12:09 PM
I'll tell you whats making people sick in this town. Some of the residence around here and there teenage children when they don't like someone who has purchased a home here they take it upon themselves to spray everything from Muriatic acid to paint water any number of household chemicals and even feces water at the corners and bottom edges of windows where there are drain holes for moisture and also at the air conditioner fresh air intakes as well as any other possible opening into the structure. Want proof? I got it! and would be happy to submit it for testing. (note:) there are many paints and other coatings with barium and other harsh toxins in them) Its a bit ridiculous that anyone would go to such extreme measures to get rid of a person they don't like but far from UN-fathomable in this day and age. What is this world coming to???? it really makes me worry!!!!

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