MTA remains defiant as BHUSD consultant slams agency’s ‘presumptions’

Kenney Geoscience rebuttal calls for further research into ‘poorly understood’ area
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(PR NewsChannel) / August 20, 2013 / BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. 

Beverly Hills Unified School DistrictLast month, MTA claimed that BHUSD consultant Kenney Geoscience’s findings brought “no new information” in the fight against the Purple Line’s Constellation Boulevard station. Now, the consulting group’s founder has fired back against Metro’s apparent misinterpretation of his data.

“I think Metro is presuming that my map should be interpreted as fault activity, and it should not,” said Dr. Miles Kenney in an interview with the Beverly Hills Courier. “It’s more of a guideline to understand the local structure…where faulting might be similar.”

Kenney’s original report used the MTA’s own definitions to determine that the agency’s preferred Purple Line Subway alignment actually encounters 11 active faults.

“Metro behaves as if they fully understand the fault system,” Kenney said. He went on to say that the area is “poorly understood” and requires far more research before coming to a conclusion.

“I don’t see how they can dismiss Constellation Station based on the data I’ve reviewed,” said Kenney.

Despite in-house studies requiring faults to be considered “active” unless proven inactive, Metro has refused to acknowledge that their own rule would require the faults discovered by Kenney Geoscience to be classified as “active.”

Still, months after supposed fault lines below Beverly Hills High School were debunked by the California Geological Survey, the MTA is refusing to alter their initial conclusions. A second reputable agency has even stepped into the mix.

“At this point, I’m not entirely sure what logic the MTA is leaning on,” said Jake Manaster, current president of the Beverly Hills Unified School District. “By continuing to stubbornly refuse to acknowledge the verifiable research of multiple agencies, Metro’s position is making less sense by the day.”

The Metropolitan Transit Authority has continually alleged that due to earthquake faults beneath the school, the existing buildings could be declared seismically unsafe and new construction would be blocked. With these allegations, Metro has routed tunnels directly below the high school and subsequently, drastically lowered the land buyout price BHUSD would receive if the school is ultimately destroyed. 

Not only has the Metropolitan Transit Authority refused to change their position, but they have also refused to even admit they were wrong in their initial findings.

After being blindsided by MTA allegations, BHUSD went on the offensive and tasked a team, led by engineer Tim Buresh of the Alameda Corridor Transportation Project, to definitively investigate the matter once and for all.

However, even with the school district’s beliefs verified, MTA refused a delay of the final decision.

In response to the quick refusal, the Beverly Hills Board of Education scored what seemed to be a serious coup when securing the California Geological Survey to intervene and confirm their data. Yet even with incontrovertible scientific evidence backed by the state’s own agency, MTA has continued to stand behind their initial findings.

Glenn Selig
PR Firm: The Publicity Agency
(310) 598-3367

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SOURCE:  Beverly Hills Unified School District

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