Costco has just mailed a slick flyer promoting an “Open House” for its proposed mega gas station at which it promises to “separate science from fiction” about the health effects of the station. Residents can come and learn about the marvels of this new station, including its wonderful wall that will make the station totally “out of sight and out of mind.”
Sounds great – but like most things, it’s what they aren’t telling us that is important. Like, why an “Open House,” instead of a Town Hall meeting where we can ask questions and get answers that everyone hears? Many people won’t know what they aren’t being told by Costco or what questions to ask.
Like – if their scientific report is so “conclusive,” why have they rewritten it three times already to keep trying to answer the questions that have been raised? And, will they have to rewrite it again because they are still using an obsolete model for vehicle emissions that substantially understates the actual numbers?
Or – why do their studies only focus on a small subset of health issues with little or no attention to many other concerns? Dr. Jison’s blog post on the Patch [What Costco Doesn’t Tell You About Health Risks of the Proposed Gas Station] has already noted many things Costco isn’t telling us – will we get real answers at their Open House? Or just soothing posters?
Will they explain that their wall had to be shortened in both length and height when it became clear that it was likely to set up a wind tunnel effect that would funnel emissions from the station down the ring road towards nearby homes and the Steven Knolls School?
We could also ask why the warehouse didn’t open on time so we could have had accurate answers about the amount of traffic it will generate instead of just “projections.” And, if they won’t tell us what the supposed “construction delays” were, will they explain to all of us why we should trust them with respect to what they promise about how the gas station will affect us?
There are many questions yet to be answered about this station –Costco’s Open House won’t provide them. We deserve a forum where Costco answers to all of us in a way that gets behind the slick public relations front they will throw up at their Open House. Join our call to Costco to hold an open Town Hall meeting.