Neighborhood Drilling in the greater Los Angeles area has been a point of contention amongst affected communities for decades. In fact, nearly 580,000 Angelenos live within a quarter-mile or less of an active oil well. While the need for actions, activism, and legislative changes to shut down oil wells in the name of health and wellness for people and the planet continues, the STAND-LA (Stand Together Against Neighborhood Drilling) coalition, with SoCal 350 as a member, can celebrate a major accomplishment this month.
AllenCo Energy must officially plug wells and decommission their oil-drilling site in South LA near USC as directed by California regulators. Drilling has been suspended for over six years since community members began to experience nosebleeds, adult asthma, heart problems, stomach pains, headaches, nausea, and serious respiratory issues due to exposure to toxic fumes. This official closure of the drilling site is a major win for fossil fuel activists and most importantly, for members of the community directly impacted.
City Councilman Gil Cedillo, who represents the area around this facility, says it’s “about time.” The councilman is now spearheading conversations to make positive use of the land. He went on to say, “Now, with the permanent termination of oil production at the facility, the neighborhood can officially begin the long road to environmental recovery. No community should have to compromise their health for any reason in the city of Los Angeles.”
It’s been a long time coming, but residents in the area can sleep a little easier now. SoCal 350 and its coalition members will continue their efforts to raise awareness and shut down neighborhood drilling in other parts of Los Angeles and Southern California. Stay tuned for more information on future actions and on-going campaigns related to this critical effort to stop neighborhood drilling and establish a 2,500-foot health and safety buffers around oil and gas operations for good!