CBE Updates

CBE Exposes More Tar Sands Crude in California

CBE comments on 2 proposed projects to bring tar sands crude to key California Refineries. See CBE’s Phillips 66 Rodeo PRP Comments [HERE]; and our Phillips 66 Santa Maria Rail Spur Comments [HERE]


Call In for Clean Air

Thursday, Dec. 4, 2:30pm. Join CBE and allies for a virtual Town Hall on smog in LA. Learn how poor air quality effects you and how you can advocate for more clean air. More info on the call, here.

Healthy Future for California’s Latino Communities

December 10th, 9am-1pm at Lynwood Bateman Hall. Hear from our local elected officials of the Latino Legislative Caucus, top experts on environmental health issues and community leaders on air quality, clean transportation, and green jobs. More information here.

[Video] Los Angeles County Supervisors critical of DTSC & Exide settlement agreement

Supervisor Gloria Molina criticized DTSC for not protecting community needs and public health. NBC4 News reports from the news conference held on Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014.

Climate Justice Policy on Oil Refining

Join CBE and allies on December 17, 2014 at 9:30 a.m. at Air District Board of Directors Public Meeting at 939 Ellis Street (near Van Ness), San Francisco, CA 94109.  Click here for Climate Justice Policy on Oil Refining background.

DTSC & Exide Technologies reach a settlement agreement but fail to include community input.

CBE responds to the settlement agreement between DTSC & Exide.

On November 6, 2014, the DTSC and Exide Technologies announced a settlement agreement purporting to resolve all compliance and other issues in dispute concerning the Vernon battery-recycling plant.

The settlement agreement caps Exide’s financial liability for residential cleanup at $9 million, even though there is nothing upon which the public can determine the reasonableness of that amount, and the scope and extent of contamination remain undetermined. The agreement also limits the number of residential properties that Exide may have to remediate, and leaves open the level to which it must remove lead contamination. Further, residents should not have to wait and continue to be exposed to dangerous levels of lead for up to five years, as provided in the agreement.

While the settlement agreement must still be approved by the bankruptcy court where Exide has a pending Chapter 11 case, the record indicates that a purpose of the agreement is to clear a path for the facility’s re-opening, its continued operations, and for the Department’s approval of the facility’s pending hazardous waste permit.

“Once again, we have been hit with an agreement between DTSC and Exide that fails to protect the public and the residents most impacted by this facility,” said Staff Attorney Yana Garcia. Garcia stated that “the Settlement provides no known recourse in the event of Exide’s liquidation, and sets forth arbitrary monetary amounts for clean-up before the Department has even finalized the scope and level of clean-up to necessary to deliver the protections it has promised residents. It is unacceptable for this Department to continue to proceed in a manner that prioritizes Exide’s ability to continue its operations, over the community’s health and wellbeing.”

CBE is disappointed that the DTSC entered into this settlement agreement without consulting with or notifying residents, whom are the people most impacted by the agreement. It is alarming that the Department proceeded without community input in limiting Exide’s liabilities and responsibilities at the cost of the community, especially in light of the haphazard process to date for soil testing and cleanup. The agreement’s limitations on Exide’s liabilities, and the ambiguities and contingencies of its terms create great uncertainty for affected residents and place their health in continued jeopardy.

CBE believes it is reckless for the State to allow continued operation of this facility, in light of its egregious history of violations of state and federal environmental laws, and which, in the state’s own words, has created “shockingly high” levels of contamination and cancer risks. No reasonable person would allow a childcare provider to stay in business after a history of abuse, nor a pilot to continue to carry people’s lives in her hands in light of a string of dangerous violations, and no reasonable state agency would allow Exide to continue to operate in Vernon.

DTSC’s actions show that it is once again relegating its affirmative obligations to enforce federal and state law to mere agreements, subject to conditions decided by only it and Exide. DTSC must remain accountable to the community, despite its agreement to limit Exide’s accountability.

[NEWS RELEASE]: Health and Environmental Groups File Lawsuit Against EPA to Fight Filthy Air in Los Angeles

Groups challenge existing loopholes that defy National Air Quality Standards.  

[English Press Release; Spanish Press Release]

Read full petition for review [HERE]



You Have a Say in LA’s Clean Energy Future

November 6, 6-8pm at Wilmington Senior Citizen Center. Los Angeles Department of Water & Power is hosting an informational workshop on how we can transition into a better, cleaner, more sustainable Los Angeles.  Click here for more information.

Community Groups Call for Air District to Support Clean Air and Healthy Communities Around Oil Refineries by Pledging Emissions Reductions

CBE and allies are advocating for the Air District to take bold action to protect workers and communities with a new pledge to require a 20 percent reduction of refinery pollution by 2020. See Press Release.

We also proposed a worker-community approach to reducing Bay Area Refinery emissions to Air District Board and Staff.  This approach was developed by refinery community, refinery worker, environmental, and academic groups and was first recommended in comments on the rule during 2013. It would require, by 2020, that each refinery reduce its emissions of specific pollutants1 by 20% or demonstrate that it is using the best emission control technology available.

[NEW CBE FACT SHEET] Bad Energy Transport Projects

Big Oil Companies are linking cheap, dangerous North American crude oil to West Coast refineries by any means necessary – rail, port and pipeline. [See more here]

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