West Adams Gets Drilling Moratorium for Jefferson Park

Jefferson_Park_neighborhood_marker_in_Los_Angeles,_CaliforniaWest Adams residents organizing against oil drilling in the Jefferson Park-area have won a short-term drilling moratorium. Community members and faith-based institutions organized an emergency meeting in January to discuss concerns with the owner’s proposal for three new oil wells at the Murphy Drill Site. Little is known about the site’s operations and residents fear unconventional oil drilling techniques, like acidization, could pose an unacceptable risk to the surrounding community. Those living near the site are already troubled by disruptive noise, truck traffic, ash pollution, and smells. A resident shared that an Air Quality Management District inspection, prompted by a call, found natural gas concentrations 40 times greater than allowed. The community is concerned new wells will only exacerbate these existing issues.
The meeting was attended by 300 people as well as City Council President Herb Wesson, State Senator Holly Mitchell, and Congressional Representative Karen Bass. Councilmember Wesson arranged a temporary moratorium at the Murphy Site until the community’s questions are answered. Senator Mitchell committed to requesting support from state agencies and introducing legislation creating a moratorium on unconventional drilling activities while Representative Bass will work with the US Environmental Protection Agency on a community health assessment.
More immediately, Councilmember Wesson is working to arrange follow-up community meetings. Continued engagement from community members, faith-based organizations, and neighborhood councils will help.

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