Residents who live near a South Los Angeles oil drilling site lined up Thursday at a city Office of Zoning Administration hearing to complain of health problems, excessive noise and pollution they say the facility is responsible for.
The hearing was held in response to a petition filed in June 2016 by Redeemer Community Partnership, a community-based nonprofit, against the drill site at 1371 W. Jefferson Blvd., which was established in 1965.
The petition is asking the city to require that oil extraction at the site be completely enclosed, mandate the use of quieter and less polluting electric rigs instead of diesel ones, and provide publicly accessible air quality monitoring to track pollution at the site.
The petition claims the operator of the site, Sentinel Peak Energy, is violating its land use permits.
The company, which bought the site in October from Freeport McMoRan, did not respond to a request to comment.
The petition also says these protections were granted decades ago to “whiter, wealthier” neighborhoods on the Westside.
A letter from Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson was also read at the meeting.
“The residents of Council District Eight deserve a responsive government and a safe and healthy community,” wrote Harris-Dawson.
“I share the frustration of my constituents in enduring these nuisances and threats to their safety and quality of life. I support local community residents in their request for the same protections afforded to constituents in drill sites located in other parts of the city.”
Ashley Thomas, a spokeswoman for Harris-Dawson, told City News Service the purpose of the hearing was for the zoning administrator, Theodore Irving, to hear testimony to try and determine if the facility’s operators are violating their land use permits, but not to determine if it was responsible for the health problems of residents.
Thomas said a report would be issued by Irving within 75 days. Irving did not respond to a request to comment.
–City News Service
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