Washington, DC - Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, issued a statement today regarding the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) announcement that it has ordered the waste handling facility operated by Western Environmental Inc. to immediately address the source of pollution that has posed a public health risk to the community of Mecca, California. The State of California also took steps today to protect area residents by ensuring that hazardous waste is not handled at the Western Environmental facility.

Senator Boxer said: "I am very pleased that EPA has ordered Western Environmental to eliminate the noxious odors coming from the Mecca waste site, which is located so close to area schools. Last week, I urged EPA to take immediate steps to address the overpowering emissions coming from the waste facility, which has mounds of untreated contaminated soil standing more than 40 feet high. This enforcement action and steps taken today by the State of California are necessary to protect the health and safety of children and families in the community of Mecca, and I will continue to monitor the situation to ensure that Western Environmental cleans up the source of pollution at this site."