May is Asthma Awareness Month

Did you know: The highest rate of ED visits for asthma in LA County is in the 0-4 yr old age group. Or that Hispanic children are less likely to receive an asthma action plan upon discharge from an asthma hospitalization?

Join us on Tuesday May 20, 2014 at 801 West 23rd Street in South Los Angeles to learn more about the environmental hazards that are causing asthma in our community! Speakers will include Dr. Richard Jackson, Professor and Chair of Environmental Health at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, Jim Mangia, CEO of St. John’s Family Medical Clinic, Nancy Halpern Ibrahim Executive Director of Esperanza Community Housing and 3 community members representing communities affected by Allenco, Murphy, West Adams and Baldwin Hills drilling sites. The event will also include asthma screenings by the Breathmobile and free refreshments!

To learn more about asthma and how you can get involved in asthma awareness contact Loretta Worthington at 213-639-6459

WAD flyer 2014 FINAL

 

Los Angeles Moves Closer To City Fracking Moratorium

 

The Huffington Post  | by  James Gerken

The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously on Friday to advance a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, in the nation’s second-largest city.

The motion passed Friday instructs the city’s attorney to draft new zoning regulations that would prohibit fracking and other oil- and gas-well stimulation techniques within city limits until fracking companies can provide city officials with assurances as to future water quality, and can “mitigate the effects on climate change, protect environmental quality and natural resources, promote community awareness [and] “allow government access to and testing of chemicals used.”

“This is about neighborhood safety, about public health and most of all, about common sense,” Council Member Mike Bonin said in an emailed statement. Bonin co-introduced the motion last September with fellow member Paul Koretz. “We cannot continue to allow the safety of our neighborhoods to be jeopardized by dangerous drilling,” Bonin added.

Anti-fracking activists joined Bonin and Koretz in the Los Angeles City Hall rotunda on Friday after the council’s vote.

Nalleli Cobo testifies in front of LA City Counceil to end facking and oil extraction in her community

People Not Pozos – Nalleli Cobo testifies in front of LA City Council to end facking and oil extraction in her community. 

The office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti did not immediately offer any comment on the council’s vote.

Some of the active oil fields around Los Angeles are outside city limits, so the moratorium will not eliminate all fracking operations within Los Angeles County.

Fracking, which has become common in states like Pennsylvania, Texas, North Dakota and others in recent years, is a technique for extracting oil and gas from shale rock formations. After drilling a well, large quantities of water, sand and chemicals are injected into the ground to fracture the shale and release hydrocarbons.

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed the state’s first fracking regulations into law last September. The rules, which went into effect at the beginning of this year, require companies to seek permits for fracking, to disclose what chemicals are used and to monitor air and water quality. Yet environmental groups hoped for stricter regulations and a proposed statewide moratorium was removed from the legislation.

Twenty-eight of California’s 58 counties produce oil or natural gas, or both. Fracking has been documented in 10 of them, according to the Center of Biological Diversity.

Despite concerns about surface and groundwater contamination risks from fracking, as well as its significant water consumption in drought-prone areas, California’s Department of Conservation maintains that there has been “no reported damage to the environment” in “more than 30 years” of hydraulic fracturing in the state.

Support us through our Seeds of Hope – Plant Sale to Harvest Change

Esperanza is fundraising to harvest change!

Plant Sale PictureCome visit us at the Mercado La Paloma next week on Thursday & Friday, February 13th & 14th from 11 am – 2pm to purchase a plant for your Valentine and support our community serving projects. All sales directly support Esperanza’s health programs!

Plant sale reservations can be made by emailing Gabriela or Sandy at Gabriela@esperanzacommunityhousing.org or Sandy@esperanzacommunityhousing.org.

Thanks!

Controversial urban oil field voluntarily agrees to halt operations

LA TIMES

Controversial urban oil field voluntarily agrees to halt operations       Allenco Energy Co. will suspend operations at a South L.A. oil field pending completion of investigations into health complaints.

Operations to be halted at L.A. oil field

November 22, 2013, 10:18 p.m.

Operators of a controversial urban oil field in South Los Angeles voluntarily agreed Friday to halt operations pending completion of investigations prompted by complaints from neighbors, who blame noxious vapors for persistent respiratory ailments, headaches and nosebleeds.

The move comes a few weeks after U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) urged Allenco Energy Co. to suspend oil production in the University Park neighborhood, half a mile north of USC, “until the experts tell us it is safe for our most vulnerable populations.”

In a letter to Boxer, Allenco President Peter Allen agreed and said the decision to suspend operations was made “to give you and the residents in our area a greater sense of confidence in our ability to operate responsibly and to appropriately address any concerns.”

Barry Wallerstein, executive director of the South Coast Air Quality Management District, said that it “doesn’t happen very often that an operator voluntarily shuts down in response to concerns expressed by the community and its elected representatives — in this case, Sen. Boxer.”

He added that Allen “had committed to make changes in equipment that was responsible for those vapors leaving the facility.”

“He was quite sincere in resolving the problems and making the necessary equipment modifications,” Wallerstein said of Allen.

Allenco is the focus of ongoing investigations by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the South Coast air quality agency, the city attorney’s office, the county Department of Health and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, which leases the 2-acre site to the company.

“I appreciate the company’s decision to suspend operations,” Los Angeles City Atty. Mike Feuer said. “Our investigation into the company’s compliance with the law continues.”

A team of federal and county environmental officers was recently overwhelmed by toxic vapors while touring the site, lending support to residents’ suspicions that odors from the facility are making people sick. The neighborhood surrounding the oil field includes homes and schools, as well as the Doheny Campus of Mount St. Mary’s College.

Complaints related to the facility increased in 2010, when Allenco boosted production at its wells by more than 400%. Neighbors complained to the air quality agency 251 times over the next three years. The air district responded by issuing 15 citations against Allenco for foul odors and equipment problems.

But frustrations over the air district’s inability to say whether fumes from the oil field are hazardous triggered the ongoing investigations aimed at determining the cause of the ailments, as well as the validity of Allenco’s operating permits and the archdiocese’s lease agreements with the company.

“Even while our operations are down, we will continue to work with the regulating agencies,” Allen said in his letter to Boxer. “We will continue to seek advice from the community, and we have already hired engineering firms and environmental consultants to help us improve our operations.”

Neighbors applauded the company’s decision.

“It’s a great victory for a community that has been living and suffering in the air plume of Allenco’s emissions,” said Nancy H. Ibrahim, executive director of Esperanza Community Housing Corp., a nonprofit affordable housing developer in the area bounded by the 110 Freeway, the 10 Freeway and USC.

Said Monic Uriarte, whose 12-year-old daughter is among neighborhood children suffering from frequent nosebleeds:, “What happened today is a lesson for neighborhoods across Los Angeles. Don’t give up.”

louis.sahagun@latimes.com

http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-1123-oil-field-fumes-20131123,0,7551455.story#ixzz2llyEh3B4