A NY Times article documents how the Environmental Protection Agency is not working to protect us anymore: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/21/us/trump-epa-chemicals-regulations.html?emc=edit_nn_20171023&nl=morning-briefing&nlid=48004855&te=1&_r=0
CAC really needs the community's support to keep doing our work to protect our community! We know more than ever that government agencies will not do this work unless we keep pushing them to protect us from harm.
Thanks to our partners at USC Environmental Health Centers North Whittier is now connected to the PurpleAir Air Quality Monitoring Network with its own sensor: "USCEHC Workman Mill Rd" located between the 60 fwy and Workman Mill Road. This map shows the sensors on network and the air quality they are constantly measuring:
CalEnviroScreen is a new tool for measuring the cumulative pollution impacts in neighborhoods throughout the state. Each neighborhood is given a score that tells us how bad or good the conditions are compared to other neighborhoods in California, expressed as a percentile. Our neighborhoods have an overall pollution score above 71% but most of us live where the score is actually over 81% and some over 91%. This means that we are living here with some of the highest pollution impacts in the state. You can find more neighborhoods here:
USC Environmental Health Centers
Our community has an amazing opportunity to create the best place possible for us to live. Starting at our next CAC meeting on August 29 we will begin to imagine together what this community could look like through a process called “placemaking.” Check out this web site for more information about placemaking and all the good things that can come from it:
We hope to see you all there!
Last year DTSC committed to “significantly upgrade and strengthen the Department’s permitting program and to ensure that the problems of the past do not resurface in the future” (DTSC-IRP Report, 1/28/2016). But DTSC nevertheless predicted many years of permitting backlogs, with many more facilities operating on expired permits.
Why does this matter?
When facilities like Quemetco are allowed to continue operating on expired permits they are being held to outdated standards that endanger community health. We just learned that Quemetco’s sloppy work has led DTSC to issue a Notice of Deficiency detailing all the places in the permit renewal application that are insufficient or incorrect. One of these places really stood out to us: the “requirements for risk assessments” where it is clear that Quemetco is relying on a health risk assessment done in the year 2000 that was based on modeling, not actual measured samples of toxic chemicals—and we know a lot about the high levels of these chemicals in the soil around the facility. Worse, this old risk assessment is based on outdated health thresholds for lead and other chemicals of concern. Quemetco is also NOT following sampling protocols long established by the EPA that require samples taken from soil, groundwater, surface water, soil vapor, etc.
BUT NONE OF THIS IS BEING CONSIDERED NOW since Quemetco is operating on an expired permit.
Again, we are waiting to know about the contamination in our community.
And, again, Quemetco’s hazardous waste permit renewal process has been extended. In July 2015 we were told that the public comment period for this permit would begin in January 2017. It is now more than TWO years after Quemetco applied for a renewal of its hazardous waste permit—which expired in 2015—and DTSC now tells us to look forward to a public comment period in late 2018!