Community seeks environmental study for South LA oil site

A packed house turned out at City Hall to discuss plans for the Budlong drill site. | Matt Tinoco

A packed house turned out at City Hall to discuss plans for the Budlong drill site. | Matt Tinoco

More than 150 Angelenos showed up at City Hall on Tuesday to voice concerns about oil giant Freeport McMoRan’s plans to expand operations in its urban-drilling facility located in South L.A. near the University of Southern California.

A room on the 10th floor of City Hall was filled with a sea of Angelenos from various walks of life, ranging from the working-class residents of apartment buildings bordering the facility to committed ecological warriors residing in Hollywood Hills.

Their collective demand was simple: Require a full environmental impact report before permitting the oil company to proceed with its plans for expansion. This meeting had been organized to allow the public to direct comments to Maya Zaitzevsky, associate zoning administrator for Los Angeles.

See also: West Adams neighbors seek to oust oil production [Read more…]

Opponents to South LA oil drilling say AllenCo upgrades won’t be enough

Nalleli Cobo walks in her neighborhood near AllenCo | Esperanza Community Housing

Nalleli Cobo, part of the People Not Pozos campaign, walks in her neighborhood near AllenCo in November 2013. Click to view more photos. | Esperanza Community Housing

For months South L.A. community members complained of foul odors coming from their neighbor: AllenCo Energy Inc., an urban oil drilling site. After more than 200 complaints and a four-month investigation by the Environmental Protection Agency, the company agreed to spend $700,000 to improve their site. Yet the South L.A. community that has been opposing AllenCo’s operations says those upgrades still won’t mitigate the health consequences.

“They really shouldn’t be there at all,” said Ashley Kissinger, project manager for Esperanza Community Housing, which offers affordable housing properties as little as 25-feet away from AllenCo.

Last year Esperanza launched a campaign called People Not Pozos (People Not Oil Wells) to draw attention to community health concerns, including complaints of asthma, headaches and nosebleeds. Eventually the campaign helped bring about a temporary shut-down of AllenCo. [Read more…]

Allenco to pay for upgrades at South LA oil drilling site

Allenco | Emmanuel Martinez

A gate barricades the AllenCo oil drill site from the street. | Emmanuel Martinez

The Environmental Protection Agency announced an agreement with the Allenco Energy Inc. Friday that will cost the South L.A. oil production facility $700,000 for site improvements after it was found to be in violation of industry standards and receiving hundreds of residential complaints.

This deal is a result of an EPA investigation that uncovered several health and safety violations.

“When a company is operating in extremely close proximity to a neighboring community, it is essential that steps are taken to ensure the safety of the residents,” said Jared Blumenfeld, the EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest division, in a statement. “Today’s order requires Allenco make the investments necessary to comply with the federal Clean Air and Clean Water Acts.”

Also see: City Council votes to halt oil drilling in South LA and throughout city, West Adams neighbors seek to oust oil productionAllenco addresses South LA oil field complaints [Read more…]

City Council votes to halt oil drilling in South LA and throughout city

Additional reporting by Hailey Sayegh and Nicole Piper

Scroll down for a video documenting the efforts by South LA residents and activists to halt oil drilling in West Adams.

A boy plays in the apartment complex next to the Murphy Drill Site | Olga Grigoryants

A boy plays in the apartment complex next to the Murphy Drill Site | Olga Grigoryants

The Los Angeles City Council voted Friday for a citywide ordinance that would prohibit fracking in Los Angeles. The vote was the first step in a lengthy process to create the ordinance that, if approved, will halt activities associated with hydraulic fracturing. Thirteen out of 15 councilmembers voted “yes” with two members absent.

The moratorium, which is temporary compared to a permanent ban, would prohibit activity associated with “well stimulation and hydraulic fracturing” until “safety and reliability of Los Angeles water supplies are assured,” according to the motion.

More than 200 people, some from the South L.A. neighborhoods where oil production companies operate, gathered in the audience to show their support for moratorium. Many wore stickers that read “Ban Fracking Now.” [Read more…]

South LA in 2013: The year in review

In 2013, policy makers and community members alike took a stand on a variety of issues affecting daily life in South Los Angeles. Here are five of them that will continue to develop during the next year. 


Lining up to find out about Obamacare at Powerfest South L.A. Photo by Katherine Davis.

Lining up to find out about Obamacare at Powerfest South L.A. | Katherine Davis

In 2013 healthcare was a major concern for many South L.A. residents. With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act residents rushed to the front of the lines to enroll. Prior to the act’s approval one could find health clinics and health care workshops popping up all over the city. Though there were some complications with enrollments in the beginning, the Affordable Health Care Act is shaping up to be beneficial for the community.

Crenshaw/LAX Metro Line


Crenshaw/LAX business summit | L.A. Wave Newspaper

Back in June the Crenshaw/LAX rail line was approved for construction after years of dispute. The light-rail line will run though South L.A. and promises to create hundreds of jobs. Local businesses came together to host a summit for those interested in working for the rail line in October. Though the production of this railway may bring transportation benefits, some worry about the effect it will have on Leimert Park’s historic role as a hub for African American arts and culture.

Gang injunctions

Community members protest the gang injunctions | Photo Courtesy of the Daily Breeze

Gang injunction protest. | Daily Breeze

This past year there has been a new gang injunction plan for Inglewood, Echo Park and the San Fernando Valley. Gang injunctions seek to make communities safer by drastically restricting the activities of known gang members. Some people believe this new policy will help while others feel it merely promotes the schools to prison pipeline.


Oil Fields in Baldwin Hills | Photo Credit: The City Project

Oil Fields in Baldwin Hills | The City Project

One of the main issues concerning the people of South L.A. this year was oil fracking at the oil fields of Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area. Many complained of the damage the fields were having on their homes while others were more concerned with the health risk they face living next to an oil field. Despite the community’s pleas to cease oil fracking in the area it seems federal funds are still being pumped into production.

The Forum | WikiCommons

The Forum | WikiCommons

The Forum

This past year the Forum in the “City of Champions,” Inglewood, was taken over by entertainment power house Madison Square Garden and renovated from the inside out creating hundreds of jobs for people in the community. The Forum will kick off it’s grand opening with a series of shows performed by the iconic band the Eagles in January 2014.

Update: Fracking controversy in Inglewood

The oil fracking method that is being used in the Inglewood oil field has been the source of controversy for the past few years.

South L.A. residents are finally seeing some government response to their concerns over fracking in Inglewood.

The oil fracking method that is being used in the Inglewood oil field has been the source of controversy for the past few years. Hydraulic Fracturing, or better known simply as fracking, is a drilling practice involving the pumping of immense quantities of water, chemicals and sand into the ground at very high pressure to break or fissure rock formations in the hope to access hidden pockets of oil and gas.  The Inglewood Oil Field sits between Culver City, Inglewood and Baldwin Hills — a community of 300,000 people — and at 1,100 acres it is the largest urban oil field in the country. [Read more…]

TV show tackles Baldwin Hills oil fields controversy

image“SoCal Connected” has dedicated a segment of their news magazine to the controversial fracking techniques used in the Baldwin Oil Fields.

In the episode that aired on Friday, March 23, homeowners tell the reporter that the nearby oil operations are destroying their property.

Here’s the segment:

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