In a tremendous win for our environmental justice agenda, officials recently announced the permanent closure of the Jefferson oil drilling site in South L.A.!
Following a multi-year battle between South L.A. residents and Sentinel Peak Resources—the company that operated the oil wells—the closure will occur over the next three years. The company has been ordered to phase out oil drilling over the next 24 months, before implementing a soil clean up phase to restore the land to residential standards (the highest level of remediation).
This is a great victory for a community that has been fighting for years to remove this toxic presence from their neighborhood. Their success will ensure access to clean air and a more livable environment for families who call the area home and for future generations.
Using research, resident testimonials, legal analysis and community organizing, Redeemer Community Partnership and EarthJustice, along with the support of Stand Together Against Neighborhood Drilling (STAND-LA), worked together to bring this fight to the City of Los Angeles, pushing for the closure of the well. Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson of District 8 also advocated for the community, and worked closely with our organizing partners on this effort.
Looking toward the future, Liberty Hill’s grassroots partners and the local community hope to find a more appropriate use for the land at the current drill site. Some suggestions include turning the space into a park, using it for affordable housing, or even building a community center. This summer, STAND-LA will host a UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs senior fellow, who will look into alternative funding streams that may help support the repurposing of the land in the months and years ahead.
Thank you to all of the Liberty Hill grantees who have been fighting for years to achieve this goal!
Your hard work and dedication truly paid off.
If you are interested in learning more about this victory, check out the Religion News Service article from this month, which uplifts the story.