Air Quality Officials Say South L.A. Oil Field Modifying Operations

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Air quality regulators say that an urban oil field blamed for chronic respiratory illnesses and nosebleeds in a South Los Angeles neighborhood is modifying its operations to prevent leaks and upgrade air pollution controls.

Oil field modifying its operations

Gabriela Garcia holds her son Joaquin on a rooftop overlooking Allenco Energy Co.’s oil field in South Los Angeles. (Credit: Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times)

Allenco Energy Co., which voluntarily suspended operations Nov. 22 at the request of U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), plans to inspect and repair tanks, remove an open-air drain and sump from service, and upgrade air pollution control systems, South Coast Air Quality Management District officials said.

District engineers will continue air sampling at Allenco during the upgrades and upon restart of operations.

At a town hall meeting last week attended by more than 200 residents of the University Park neighborhood, Barry Wallerstein, executive officer of the district, said Allenco “takes the community’s concerns seriously” and “could resolve the problem within a few months.”

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