My name is Rosa M. Flores and I am a resident and teacher in the South Park neighborhood of South L.A. It has recently come to my attention that South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) has received and evaluated a permit application that will allow America Wood Finishes Corporation to construct and operate a blender to manufacture paint at 728 E. 59th St. LA, CA 90001. AQMD admits that the blending operation of this company will undoubtedly "emit small quantities of some toxic compounds" that can pose health risks to the residents and tenants in the surrounding community.
The proposed location for this toxic company is 1,000 feet from a Middle School, and less than 10 blocks away from a community park and residential area.
AQMD sent letters (in envelopes) out to students at Los Angeles Academy Middle School the same week we went on Christmas break. The letters were also delivered ten days after the date of distribution (December 13, 2010) which makes it more challenging to congregate and protest against this plan. Mr. Sidney Baker, Air Quality Engineer, from AQMD also confirmed that letters were never sent out to residents in the immediate area. I cannot help to think these were strategic moves on their part to prevent parents and families from focusing on the contents of the notice and discourage action from the community.
South L.A. is not the dumping ground for companies that will put the community's health at risk! We've had two major explosions within the last eight months from companies that are not following codes and are operating in a residential area. If we don't stop America Wood Finishes Corporation from operating in our neighborhood we are opening the doors for more toxic factories to set up camp here. If we don't stop them from coming into our area, we are sending the message that we don't care about our city, our neighbors, or ourselves.
Newscasts that reported on the June 12, 2010 explosion on the 900 Block E. of 59th Street (first explosion; one fatality) commented that city leaders and officials are "concerned" with how businesses are operating in this area. This is a great opportunity for our city representatives to show the citizens of South Park, South L.A., that they do care.
Show that you care by adding your name to this petition. Please help us continue improving L.A. Signatures are due by February 9th!