By the Daily Post staff
When the Palo Alto VA discharged diesel into Matadero Creek, the city didn’t put out an alert to residents in the area.
“While the spill is a serious issue, there was no immediate danger to life and health that would cause a shelter in place or something of that nature that would typically trigger a community emergency alert,” city spokeswoman Meghan Horrigan-Taylor said in an email. “Emergencies such as wildfire evacuation, flood evacuation, a shelter in place, or citywide utility outage, etc., are typically when we use the City’s emergency alert system.”
The city has said that the VA sent an alert to neighbors.
But the VA’s spokesman, Michael Hill-Jackson, asked neighborhood association leader John King to email the message to residents. “I have communicated with your neighborhood in the past but do not have the most up-to-date mailing list,” Hill-Jackson wrote in an email to King on May 7. Hill-Jackson said some of the VA’s “team” went out that evening to speak with residents.