Opinion: City of Irvine Fails To Address Health Hazards to “Luxury” Home Residents by All American Asphalt
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that All American Asphalt started in Irvine in 1976. The company started in the 70s, but not at the current location.
What is the City’s responsibility to disclose of pollutants and its negative impacts to home buyers?
All American Asphalt has been operating in Irvine since 1993. Yet home buyers were not informed of its location before purchasing “luxury” homes nearby. Residents became aware of its presence when they experienced odor emanating from the plant, which occurs mostly in the wee hours of the morning when people are asleep or have their windows shut tight.
These odors have been detected as far as the Portola Springs and Woodbury villages. Residents have had to invest in air purifiers and/or air monitors to detect indoor air quality — combined with the additional use of air conditioning, this has resulted in higher electricity bills and overall costs.
When asked, the sales staff in the model homes stated that they were unaware of the existence of the All American Asphalt Company but were aware of the landfill and reservoir located nearby.
The “white paper” disclosures failed to disclose the existence of All American Asphalt and its toxic and polluting emissions, but did disclose the following:
- The Frank R. Bowerman County Landfill
- Water Management Plan
- Parks & Trails
- Agricultural & Commercial Nursery Operations
- Oil, Gas Wells & Methane
- Gas & Liquid Pipelines
- Toxic Mold
Additionally, the “white paper” did disclose language alluding to traffic noise from trucks carrying asphalt on Portola, Jeffrey, and Hicks Canyon Haul Road under the “Roads and Highways” and “Noise” sections, but the disclosures failed to mention the possible hazards of odors and pollutants emanating from All American Asphalt. What is the City’s responsibility for failure to provide this disclosure to property purchasers? Does the City and/or seller have an obligation to disclose this information to potential home buyers?
Pursuant to California Civil Code Section 1102.17, “the seller of residential real property subject to this article who has actual knowledge that the property is adjacent to, or zoned to allow, an industrial use described in Section 731a of the Code of Civil Procedure, or affected by a nuisance created by such as use, shall give written notice of that knowledge as soon as practicable before transfer of title” (California Developer Disclosure Report).
All American Asphalt has received a total of 6 citations since it started operating here in Irvine — 5 within the last two years. It has also received 4 Notices of Non-Compliance between 2010-2019 for maintenance and equipment failures.
Eastwood Village, Stonegate, and Orchard Hills neighborhoods were marketed as family-friendly luxury homes with resort-style amenities and lush pathways that connect residents to the surrounding trails, parks and award-winning schools. Each home pays property tax and Mello-Roos of between $10-30k annually.
The developer is continuing to build new homes in these neighborhoods. The City should deem the current location of All American Asphalt not suitable, given its history of public nuisance violations and adverse health effects.
Actions Taken In Attempt To Remedy The Public Nuisance and Health Hazards
- The residents have repeatedly filed complaints to the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) whenever odors are detected. Public records from the AQMD’s website show this factory releases toxic pollutants into the air.
- Email to Irvine Director of Community Development with a disappointing response.
- Residents have sent letters to 20 agencies, organizations and elected officials in the past year. To date, no remediation has been instituted.
If you are interested in joining us in fighting this hazardous nuisance, please add our Facebook Page. https://www.facebook.com/groups/stopallamericanasphalt/?ref=share