Latino advocates and activists in Los Angeles blame California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) for failing to remove lethal lead pollution in predominantly Latinx communities near the previous Exide Technologies, Inc. battery recycling factory in southeast Los Angeles, leaving locals angered and fearful. Efforts to clean the factory began in July 2017 after the DTSC announced its plan to remove lead pollutants from the area surrounding the abandoned plant located at Bandini Boulevard, Vernon. Almost six years later, many homes in the southeast LA community continue to have high levels of lead, which exceed the state health standards.
EDITORIAL: Clean up still needed around Exide Technologies plant in LA
The cleanup is the largest environmental clean-up in state history. California has already allocated more than $750 million in taxpayer funding for cleanup and remediation efforts, soil testing, and community outreach. But the state and the federal government need to do more.
MICHAEL MARTINEZ, LA Compost, improve LA environment for Latinos
LA Compost currently has 43 community compost locations where community members drop off food scraps for processing into compost as well as 10 locations in LA farmer’s markets. The work done by the organization has led to hundreds of thousands of pounds of organics being diverted from landfills each year. Having parents who utilized the earth and refurbished the forgotten, Michael Martinez aimed to share those teachings and ultimately founded LA Compost.
Tzunu, Energy Foundation host forum on SB 1137 and pollution
Four environmental justice experts discussed their views on January 19 in “Media Roundtable to discuss pressing California Environmental issues,” holding California oil industry polluters accountable and limiting pollution in communities of color and Senate Bill 1137. They were Senator Lena A. Gonzalez (D-Long Beach), author of the bill that is now law; nterim co-director of California Environmental Justice Alliance, Mabel Tsang; Amee Raval, policy and research director at the Asian Pacific Environmental Network; and Catherine Garoupa, executive director of the Central Valley Air Quality Coalition.
UC Berkeley environmental program uplifts Latinx students
The University of California at Berkeley’s Hispanic-Serving Institutions Initiative began in 2018 with aims to get more Latinx students into the University of California’s system. The program was founded in 2018 by Frederico Castillo, an Environmental/Agricultural economist professor at UC Berkeley.
AUDREY ALONSO, fights for enviro justice, makes crucial info accessible
Alonso, 25, of Fresno, CA, was raised by her parents and grandparents. Both of her grandparents were agricultural workers and taught her how to take care of the plants they harvested. They also showed her little tricks to save money and be environmentally friendly, like line-drying their laundry. By the age of five, Alonso recalls being in love with the earth and the environment.
BELINDA FAUSTINOS’ passion for environmental justice never sways
Whether working for State of California or for nonprofits, Faustino, who was born in Boyle Heights, has fought to protect the environment. She was recruited in 1999 by Hilda Solis, a member of the LA County Board of Supervisors, to serve as the Executive Officer with the Rivers and Mountains Conservancy, a California conservancy with a goal to preserve open spaces for recreation and educational uses. Additionally, Faustinos served as the Deputy Director for 17 years with the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. And that’s just a small part of her resume.