A short video clip featuring former Autumnwood residents tells their side of the story (watch attached). In the video, the residents say their homes have made them sick, and they want the state's Department of Toxic Substances Control to continue investigating the claims.
After testing soil, soil gas and groundwater samples from specific locations within the allegedly toxic Autumnwood housing tract, officials with the DTSC announced in December preliminary findings that showed the neighborhood is safe.
Xonia Villanueva, who is featured in the video, disputed those findings, claiming they were "manipulated." She is calling on the public to contact Gov. Jerry Brown, asking him to "clean house at the DTSC." At the end of the video, which was produced by Brave New Films, contact information for the public is provided.
In response to Villanueva's claims, the DTSC released a statement: “Our technical experts are among the finest and most respected in their field. The conclusions they’ve reached are based on their careful analysis of the extensive data gathered from our sampling as well as that of others. DTSC followed federal and state guidelines, and our work has been reviewed internally and by technical experts within Cal/EPA and the California Department of Public Health. The findings we shared with residents of the Autumnwood Development reflect our commitment to an unbiased analysis, as well as the conclusions of our sister agencies.”
The Autumnwood issue has been ongoing for more than a year. Since making their case public, some former residents have garnered support from Penny Newman, executive director at the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice.
Following the DTSC's announcement in December, Newman released this statement.
“DTSC must be held accountable. The state agency has been unable to address the impact of multiple contaminated sites, including those from Wildomar, Vernon, and others around the state. A state agency working to protect the people should not be beholden to its corporate polluters. I urge governor Brown to clean house at DTSC.”
Final test results from the DTSC are expected later this month.