It's a fast-moving issue, so Liberty Hill is moving fast. Los Angeles residents are learning of expanded plans for oil extraction in the city, and they're asking– is oil drilling in the city safe? Are there hazards we’re being exposed to? Toxic emissions? Extreme techniques? Because they want answers to these questions, residents are organizing to protect health and safety in their communities, and they need resources.
Los Angeles County historically has been a major oil producer and is now home to thousands of active oil and gas wells. Many of these oil and gas wells are located in close proximity to densely populated urban neighborhoods. As a result of increasing oil and gas prices coupled with technological advances in oil extraction, many of these wells are increasing their production. This expansion, much of which involves the use of highly toxic chemicals, poses numerous environmental, health, and public safety risks in densely populated urban areas. The City of Los Angeles is actively considering a motion to impose a moratorium on "fracking" and other forms of well stimulation including gravel packing, acidizing, and the use of waste disposal injection wells.
Liberty Hill's new Fund for Environmental Health and Safety was established to help organizations that are taking proactive steps to deter the harmful effects on public health, the environment and neighborhood quality of life associated with increased oil production, particularly in communities of color and low income communities in Los Angeles County. Grants were announced in November.
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Everyone in Los Angeles breathes the country's worst air, but residents in some L.A. neighborhoods are poisoned in their own homes, when they go outside to tend their gardens or walk their children to school. Pollution-linked illness is 2 to 3 times higher in neighborhoods in East and Southeast Los Angeles, parts of the San Fernando Valley and communities surrounding the Ports of L.A. and Long Beach.
Liberty Hill environmental investments target low income communities of color where L.A.'s pollution has its most deadly consequences. Improving the environment in these densely polluted neighborhoods benefits every one in Los Angeles, but most of all, the tens of thousands of families who are being choked by truck and train pollution, factory toxins, and ship and plane exhaust every day.
Scientists call this concentrated exposure to environmental pollutants "cumulative impact." Liberty Hill calls it a matter of life and death.
Right now, the Clean Up Green Up campaign, which received significant support from Liberty Hill, is moving a policy through City Hall that would transform some of the city's toxic hotspots into Green Zones. Find out more at the Clean Up Green Up website.
For more than 20 years, Liberty Hill has played a leading role in L.A.'s environmental justice movement.
Read about a Liberty Hill environmental success.