Navy Response To Seismic Concerns On Property Questioned

The 10News I-Team asked an independent expert -- a geologist -- to review a geotechnical report prepared for developer Doug Manchester's proposed Navy Broadway Complex. The geologist felt the report -- done by GEOCON - didn't do a thorough job. There was a potential for an active fault.

"There are very clear state guidelines on where you can build close to a fault. And particularly on landfill, which is subject to liquefaction," said Ian Trowbridge, co-chairman of the Navy Broadway Complex Coalition, a group that opposes the development.

A federal judge ordered the Navy to allow for public comment and questions on the development.

In reviewing them, one recurring concern is about the possibility that faults underlie the site of the proposal.

In its responses to questions, the Navy refutes the 10News report and the independent geologist's report by quoting a letter from U.S. Geological Survey seismologist, Susan Hough, saying the site assessment "presents a thorough and up-to-date summary of known geological hazards."

But the I-Team discovered that Hough was never given the GEOCON report, or the independent geologist's concerns about it.

"I was asked to review a very brief broad-brush description of the known geologic hazards that could potentially impact that part of San Diego," said Hough.

The I-Team report is mentioned several times in public comments, as well as the GEOCON study; and each time the Navy refers to the Hough letter.

"I'm a seismologist which means I look at data form earthquakes - different kinds of data. It is different than being a geologist who looks at faults in the field," said Hough.

Trowbridge said Hough's letter was misused.

"She never saw the GEOCON report. She certainly can't comment on that, so the Navy comments are just simply misleading the public," he said.

Hough said she assumed that a more detailed site-specific analysis would be done down the road and wasn't absolutely ruling out the possibility of active faults on the property.

The Navy says that due diligence has been done in the case of Navy Broadway Complex.

To see all the public comments and the Navy's response, click here.