Senator Boxer Commends LA City Attorney’s Office for Taking Action to Protect the Health of University Park Residents
January 7, 2014
Washington, DC - Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, commended Los Angeles City Attorney, Mike Feuer, for seeking to ensure that AllenCo does not reopen its oil and gas pumping facility until it has complied fully with applicable law and no longer poses an imminent threat to public health. On November 8th, Senator Boxer visited the University Park neighborhood and held a press conference with local residents where she called for the suspension of operations. AllenCo announced later that month that it was temporarily suspending its operations.
The text of Senator Boxer's letter to LA City Attorney is below:
January 7, 2014
Mr. Mike Feuer
Los Angeles City Attorney
200 North Main Street, 8th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Dear Mr. Feuer:
I am writing to express to you how much I appreciate your thoughtful and decisive action to remove a serious health threat facing families living in the University Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.
In my view, it is entirely appropriate and correct to ask the court to prevent AllenCo from re-opening its oil and pumping facility in University Park until it has complied fully with applicable law and no longer poses an imminent threat to public health. AllenCo's facility is located in a residential neighborhood that has within its surroundings a child care center, two elementary schools, a high school, Mount St. Mary's College, and the University of Southern California is located a few blocks away from the oil facility.
When I visited University Park in November, my heart was heavy as I experienced for myself the dangerous chemical odors emanating from the AllenCo facility and affecting a wide area of the community. I listened to mothers and children who described horrible odors and illnesses including dizziness, headaches, respiratory ailments, and recurring nosebleeds.
The Environmental Protection Agency investigators who visited the site reported that they themselves experienced severe respiratory symptoms from exposure to the strong odors.
Your lawsuit seeking permanent injunction until AllenCo has complied fully with applicable law is exactly what needs to be done, and I commend you for taking action to protect public health and safety. I certainly hope the court agrees that families in the University Park community have the right to environmental justice.