That appears to be exactly what the San Gabriel River Discovery Center Authority intends to do with its controversial project.
A story at latimes.com last Saturday reported that the March 16 Pico Rivera earthquake occurred on the Puente Hills thrust fault, which stretches from the Puente Hills through downtown Los Angeles and "is capable of producing a devastating, magnitude 7.5 quake."
This is the same fault, described by a USGS seismologist as "the fault that could eat L.A., that experts believe produced the 1987 Whittier Narrows earthquake, which killed eight people.
The latimes.com Web site also provides a good map showing the location of both quakes just about in the center of the fault area -- which turns out to be the same spot where one finds the Whittier Narrows, the location for the proposed Discovery Center.
An additional risk factor is that the Discovery Center would be located in a liquefaction zone, a high risk area in which "liquefaction occurs when an earthquake jars loosely compacted, moist earth, causing the soil to lose its stability, often becoming gelatinous."
The authority's choice to approve the Discovery Center apparently before adequately identifying and disclosing seismic hazards is part of the Friends lawsuit against the authority and the project. (You can find a link to the lawsuit here.)
I find it incredibly troubling that the authority insists on proceeding with the Discovery Center when everything seems to argue against the project, such as:
- Earthquake and flood hazards of the proposed location
- Community opposition to the project
- Likely damage to habitat and wildlife
- Inability to secure private or foundation funding
Nope. Just the RMC.
It looks to me like three out of four of the member agencies are either unwilling or unable to pay their fair share.
So much for their "full support" of the Discovery Center.