Turtle Island Restoration Network recently joined with numerous organizations in sending a letter to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in urging the adoption of the Oil Well Ordinance. Adopting the ordinance would be the first of many steps Los Angeles County must take to phase out oil drilling in the county.
This would be an important stage in progressing towards improving the environmental effects of actions in the county, as well as the local communities that are affected. More than 580,000 residents in the county live within one-quarter mile of an actively producing oil and gas well. In the county, communities of color live in greater frequency near the wells, and as a result, suffer greater health risks. Compared to just 31% of White residents, 44% of Black, 37% of Latino, and 38% of Asian residents live near the wells.
Adopting the Oil Well Ordinance would allow the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to protect its residents from harmful local pollution that disproportionately burdens workers, low-income communities, and communities of color.
The organizations signing the letter also asked the Board of Supervisors to ensure the Department of Regional Planning to prohibit new wells and set a timeline to phase out current production. The risks of allowing oil drilling near homes, schools, hospitals, and other sensitive sites are hurting local communities. The call to phase out production would help them, as well as advance efforts toward a healthier blue-green planet.