Bob Hope Airport officials believe that if pictures are worth a thousand words, then they have plenty to say in their dispute with Lockheed Martin Corp. over groundwater contamination.
The two parties are clashing in court over who must pay federally mandated cleanup costs related to toxins under the airport. Part of the dispute centers on a fire pit on the southwest portion of the airfield, where the Environmental Protection Agency believes residue contributed to soil contamination.
Bob Hope Airport officials contend the contamination occurred during Lockheed's use of the site, and have released archival photos that they say prove their case.
One photo shows a plume of black smoke emerging from an earthen pit, with unidentified firefighters battling the blaze. Another shows the fire and surrounding areas, including a billboard advertising a McDonald's sausage-and-hotcakes breakfast for 85 cents.
McDonald's launched its breakfast menu in 1971, according to a company spokeswoman. Lockheed bought the land in question from the government in 1963 and sold it to the airport in 1978.