Disaster not required

Because we have had sliding hills and fires, does not necessarily mean that this must be our way of life in Malibu. We are much better prepared now against fires and in many instances we are taking steps to minimize earth movement.

Yes, it is true that since the Old Malibu Road was the original Route #1, there has been earth movement. And that is because of the peculiar composition of the entire Hill below Pepperdine University. The entire Hill has always been fragile since it is underlaid by an ancient landslide area. The grounds are built in layers which when infused by excessive water, tend to move toward the ocean. And after seeping into the ocean, this sewage drifts southward to the Surfriders Beach and into the Malibu Bay. The fragility of this Hill was one of the reasons that General Motors abandoned their proposal to build their “Think Tank” above the Old Road.

Many of the Old Road’s residents, such as Bunny Sexton whose home suffered severe damages and Bill Rowland whose apartment building was wiped out during severe storms, could attest to the problem we have.

Back in 1981 the L. A. County established the “County Service Area #2″ whose purpose was to install and operate a series of pumps to de-water the Hills. Since at that time, Pepperdine was disposing of 500,000 gallons of effluent per day, they had agreed to assume certain responsibilities. To which they did not comply. A Malibu Times editorial of November 11, 1988, quoted, ” .. .that Pepperdine has been less than cooperative in providing annual reports for the years since 1985, et seq …” For some reason, the pumps have been abandoned.

Now Pepperdine has the chutzpah to request permission to dump an additional 250,000 gallons of effluent per day, on our road and into the ocean, a 50 percent increase! When Malibu achieved its independence in 1991, Pepperdine opted to remain with the county. They cannot be in the county and dump their refuse onto Malibu.

Pepperdine has the financial and engineering ability to literally move mountains. I suggest that they have the means to pipe their effluent to one of the county’s disposal sights.

Jay C. Miller

The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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