March 23, 2014 |
There's no clearer sign that state environmental regulators have failed to protect public health than the warning issued this month to parents living in the shadow of the Exide battery recycling plant in Vernon: Don't let children play in the dirt in your backyard. Tests of 39 homes and one preschool within two miles of the plant revealed that all had levels of lead in the soil that should trigger health evaluations. Lead is a neurotoxin that can cause children to develop learning disabilities and behavioral problems.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 19, 2014 |
Furious residents confronted state officials at a community meeting Wednesday night to discuss the high levels of lead found in the backyards of homes near a Vernon battery recycling plant. "We've been hearing the same junk over and over and over," said Robert Cabrales, an organizer with the environmental justice group Communities for a Better Environment. "When are we going to see cleanup in our communities?" The meeting came one week after state officials announced that soil testing had revealed elevated levels of lead in the soil at homes and a park north and south of the Exide Technologies plant.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 13, 2014 |
The first Zoila Meeks heard about pollution from a Vernon battery recycler was when workers showed up at her Boyle Heights home last month and asked to dig up her yard to test for lead. They found it, and now Meeks and dozens of other residents in this quiet neighborhood of tree-lined streets tucked near the Los Angeles River are left wondering whether their health has been threatened, and what is going to happen to their homes. "It's very scary," said Meeks, who has a 7-month-old daughter.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 11, 2014 |
Los Angeles County supervisors voted Tuesday to create a "strike team" that will target facilities that emit toxic pollutants - the first being the Exide Technologies battery recycling plant in Vernon. The team of public health officials, prosecutors, fire department officials and others will look for ways to close the plant, which has been accused of endangering the health of more than 100,000 people with lead and arsenic emissions. The state Department of Toxic Substances Control and the South Coast Air Quality Management District regulate the plant, but Supervisor Gloria Molina said she has grown frustrated with what she views as a lack of swift action to protect public health.
February 28, 2014 |
It used to be that when a skateboard had shredded its last empty pool or hopped its last handrail, it took a one-way trip to the great halfpipe in the sky. But thanks to a Long Beach-based company called Art of Board, there's now new life for some of the battered and broken slabs. Wooden skateboard decks - in all their scuffed, gouged and worn glory - are finding new uses in board shorts, T-shirts, hats, socks, pillows, wallets and a range of flooring and wall tiles. Through its "I Ride, I Recycle" program, Art of Board collects broken wooden skateboard decks from 400 skate/surf shops, skate parks and the like from New York City to Los Angeles.
February 9, 2014 |
Next time you get a drink on a United Airlines, flight you may notice a new cup in your hand. In an effort to become more eco-friendly, United is replacing its foam cups with recyclable plastic cups. United is not the only airline thinking about air travel's effect on the environment. Southwest Airlines has converted diesel-burning ramps, belt-loaders and other equipment to electric power and recently installed plane seats and interiors made with recyclable material. Delta Air Lines recycles some of its waste and donates money generated to Habitat for Humanity, the nonprofit home building charity.